Around Zimbabwe

Chamisa holds ‘do or die’ meeting over new party name

THE main opposition MDC Alliance will tomorrow hold what it called a “crucial” meeting to deliberate on a possible new name for the party ahead of the January 26 sitting of the nomination court countrywide to accept papers for the candidates of the March 26 by-elections.

This comes after rival opposition MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora laid claim on any name with the acronym MDC.

Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba said the names MDC- T and MDC Alliance were both theirs to use as electoral vehicles for different times depending with the situation on the ground.

“So we are going to use any of the names and no one outside of our party is allowed to use any of the above,” he told The Standard.

“Our claim to the MDC Alliance name is not to spite anyone, but is embedded in the history of the MDC name, of which the resolution was made on the 27th of July 2017 and the signing of the pact on the 5th of August 2017 in Zimbabwe Grounds.”

With barely three weeks to the nomination court date, Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda confirmed the Monday meeting to deliberate on the way forward.

“The party will hold a crucial meeting to resolve that issue. You may ask our national party spokesperson Fadzai Mahere for further clarification because I only speak on behalf of the president. She will also make an official announcement after the meeting,” Sibanda told the publication.

Mahere, on her part, was evasive on the main agenda of the meeting, saying the party would, at the “appropriate” time, set  its position to the people.

“The party is ready for the by-elections, but there is need to implement electoral reforms, which are not negotiable — to solve the governance crisis in Zimbabwe,” Mahere said.

“We need to align our electoral laws to the Constitution and there is need for full disbandment of the partisan and militarised Zimbabwe Electoral Commission secretariat.”

Her deputy, Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda said the party was ready to take part in any “credible, legal, free and fair elections”.

“By-elections were stage-managed by Mwonzora, a surrogate of Zanu PF. It is going to be a humiliation to Mwonzora and his henchman,” Sibanda said.

Chamisa’s party lost the MDC headquarters, Morgan Tsvangirai House, and the funds that it is supposed to get through the Political Parties Finances Act to the Mwonzora faction, which claimed to be the legitimate MDC  and the courts ruled in its favour.

Mwonzora’s party also recalled MPs affiliated to the MDC Alliance, and has since replaced about 15 proportional representation seats with its MPs.

About 133 Parliamentary seats and council wards are now vacant after the recalls of MDC Alliance MPs. Other vacancies were caused by the deaths of MPs and appointment of others to Ambassadorial posts.

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