I attended the National Council of the MDC on Saturday and Sunday in
Driving into the City on Sunday morning I was struck by two headlines
gets Z$8 billion from the State" and "Mutambara to head up the MDC".
first purported to say that the government had decided to award the
grant for opposition parties to the pro Senate group led by Welshman
and the second referred to the arrival in Harare of a former student
who was tipped to be elected the leader of the break away group at its
congress this weekend.
I do not blame you if you are confused by all this but the facts are
simple and it is time that everyone connected with this dispute were
aware of these facts and started to behave accordingly. That includes
editors of the Standard and the Independent.
The facts are as follows: -
On the 12th October last year the Council of the MDC met in Harare and
against the wishes of the President of the Party to support the
of candidates to the elections for a Senate. The President refused to
by this decision and at the following meeting of the MDC Council,
by two thirds of its membership, this decision was reversed
Since then we have held 4 subsequent Council meetings - all attended by
two thirds of its membership and 4 National Executive meetings attended
clear majority quorum. At all these meetings all decisions have been
unanimous and have supported the call by the leadership of the Party to
boycott the Senate Elections and to support new strategies now being
finalized to challenge the Mugabe led regime.
The faction of the leadership that broke ranks with the membership of
MDC after the 12th October has attempted once to secure legal Judgment
against the MDC for its stand and been rebuffed by the Courts. The MDC
chosen not to go the legal route but simply to follow its own
and to get on with its own business. It has consistently said that
have broken ranks with the MDC may return without prejudice.
There is no question that the name "The Movement For Democratic Change"
the "MDC", the symbols and the flag as well as its slogans for Change
the lawful property of the MDC. Application to register these with the
Registrar of Trade Marks was carried out in December and there can be
doubt that they are
the legal property of the MDC.
The break away group is still using the Party symbols and slogans and
the name although they are well aware of both the political and the
position. The MDC legal team will write this week to the break away
listing their violations of the MDC constitution and pointing out that
have no right to use the name or the symbols of the Party.
You might then ask why they persist in doing so - well that is quite
if they admit that they are not the MDC and adopt a separate name, it
strip them of the right to occupy and use MDC property - which they are
doing. It will also condemn them to finding their own space in the
spectrum and acceptance for their strategies and policies. The MDC has
fears about its own position either legal or political and welcomes
political competition from any quarter.
The truth of the matter is that no decision has been taken as to the
eventual beneficiary of the Z$8 billion which is paid out by the State
help political parties fund their activities and Mutambara has not
to lead the MDC. The MDC has established leadership and we see no
possibility of any changes at that level at the MDC Congress set for
17th to the 19th March 2006.
What the break away group is claiming to be the MDC Congress and which
be held this weekend in Bulawayo, is in fact just an extended rally of
break away group. It has not been properly called, the notice given and
delegates attending have no foundation in the Party and any decisions
there will have no influence or effect on the MDC itself. The group
even have a valid constitution - this is to be adopted by the meeting
weekend. So the advert carried in the Independent on Friday to the
that this was the "Second MDC National Congress" is simply nonsense.
In the MDC itself, we have now concluded the holding of all 12
Party Congresses at which leadership has been elected at this level by
representatives of our 4500 branches, 1900 Ward Committees and 120
Districts. In all some 8000 delegates attended these Congresses and the
leadership is now preparing for delegates to attend the main Party
on the 17th March. We anticipate that 12 000 delegates will attend out
the total number of those eligible of 17 000. Notice of the Congress
been properly given and the required press notice placed.
Intense lobbying is taking place across the country for the 9 senior
leadership posts that are up for election - while we expect that Morgan
Tsvangirai will stand unopposed, all the other positions will be
At yesterdays Council meeting we had a full house again - the breakaway
leadership at Provincial level have all been replaced and all 12
were fully represented. Council agreed the agenda for Congress, as were
amendments to the Party Constitution, which are due for adoption.
The Council also instructed the leadership to seek an amicable
from the activities of the break away group. We do not want to waste
and resources on a futile scrap that just leaves people confused and
nothing about the crisis confronting the country and its people. As far
the MDC is concerned it is long past the time when the break away group
should form a new political Party and decide on its own agenda and
The MDC Congress in March will be a celebration of our achievements
past 6 years - we have survived, we have beaten Zanu PF at the
even though we were frustrated by the rigging and electoral fraud on
three occasions. We are the first opposition political party in
short history to show that it is capable of taking on the ruling Party
beating it in a free and fair election.
By contrast Zanu PF is in a shambles, the countries economy has
there is insufficient food, fuel and electricity to keep the nation
They are at the end of their tether and the MDC is still in fighting
We are no longer going to fight futile electoral contests where Zanu is
referee and the judge. We now want a clean break with the past, a new
constitution and a transitional administration that will take us to
fair democratic elections in 2007 under international supervision. Then
will find out who has the people's trust and who gets the
put Zimbabwe back on the map.
Bulawayo, 20th February 2006.