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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare


Yesterday, MDCA leadership unwittingly exposed its immature, reckless and arbitrary approach to rule of law by the testimonies given by its two leaders at the Motlanthe Commission of enquiry where they conducted themselves as juveniles at a student union campaign rally.

The two leaders failed to appreciate the gravitas of the commission and the fact that commissioners called them to test allegations leveled against them, by examining their attitude, conduct and response towards their questions, the laws of the land and the due process underway (the commission itself).

In the face of these objectives of the commission, Chamisa brazenly and arrogantly intimated that his belief was politics trumps the constitution and so therefore, MDCA was intent on challenging the legitimacy of the ZImbabwean President politically, despite the ruling of the constitutional court that settled that legitimacy issue.

In other words, Chamisa was saying that his party is going to push for a political outcome on the resolution of an issue (the winner of the Presidency of Zimbabwe) already resolved by the concourt.

This was a basic declaration of anarchy by Chamisa, because on a dispute of law and administrative process that has already been settled by the highest court of the land, what other action -later on political action- can exist outside the supreme law of the land, besides mischief or criminal action?

Moreover, if that political action is resisted by government or other political players -as it rightfully should- what other political contingencies will MDCA take and what would be the response to them be and what would be the outcome?

With this in mind, now put yourself in the shoes of the Commissioners. How are these revelations made by Chamisa, likely to influence the Commissioners as they deliberate the allegations that MDCA incited violent protests on the 1st of August, versus MDCA’s defense that their leadership had nothing to do with calling for the August 1, 2018 protests, because they abide by the law and would never ask for violent protests.

Earlier that day, a lawyer and leader of MDCA, Tendai Biti, had libelously pronounced that ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army) soldiers killed protestors on the 1st of August. This he did without providing concrete proof or having the backing of due process, to legally found his conclusion.

Biti goes on further to make more unfounded allegations by claiming that the same army also killed more than 20 000 people during Gukurahundi, a figure he changed to 30 000 people in the same presentation.

This is despite his conclusions not being supported by four independent and authoritative international reports on Gukurahundi by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, the Bulawayo Legal Project Center, Lawyers Commission For Human Rights (New York), the CIA and Amnesty International who all put the number at less than 1500 deaths.

Essentially, Biti has unilaterally decided -in his own kangaroo court- that Zimbabwean soldiers are guilty of massacres [if not genocide], without them having been proven guilty by an independent tribunal or court as per our constitutional standard.

However, having found the army guilty, without trial, he decries the commission’s points of reference as flawed because they seem subjectively biased toward a witch-hunt to establish MDCA as having caused the protests for an ulterior motive.

What is concerning is both these men [Biti and Chamisa] present themselves as constitutionalists, yet they do not unequivocally abide by the same constitution. They express unconstitutional views, give unconstitutional testimonies that are backed by selective, arbitrary and biased application of the constitution even though Biti was one of the authors.

And this selective application of the constitution characterizes an impunity in conduct in the MDCA that we saw when Chamisa usurped power from Khupe in MDCT, after the death of Tsvangirai.

These acts are an indictment upon MDCA and are disconcerting signs of unilateralism, recklessness and living outside the rule of law in the same way they say Zanu PF does.

Some might even suggest that MDCA are using weaknesses in our jurisprudence and security system to push the envelope of political brinksmanship, and it would seem Zanu PF knows precisely what MDCA is doing as they seem to be responding in kind, as the two play Russian Roulette with Zimbabwean lives.

Irrespective, MDCA leaders erred in their politicized approach to the commission, putting a dent on our democracy by throwing cunning unconstitutional provocations, which turn our political landscape into a veiled contestation of underhanded tactics through which innocent people are the fodder.

By MDC expressly refusing to adhere to the ruling of the constitutional court on the Presidential elections -in favor of non-disclosed, unconstitutional political actions- they basically declared a no-holds-barred war with the ruling party, endorsing division and lawlessness in the nation’s political landscape and challenging Zanu PF to respond in kind with counter chicanery in this evil contestation.

All this political maneuvering has no benefit for Zimbabweans. It does not unite us or help us focus on building the nation, but it just gives rise to a lawless Zimbabwe that is unprogressive due to internecine conflict.

By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare