National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku says the Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa is a replica of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and is totally different from the MDC when it was founded in 1999.
“When the MDC was formed in 1999, it was a social democratic party and was the voice of the working people, but now, it is a voice of business,” he told the Standard.
“Look at the structure, it proposes to have three VPs, way beyond what the constitution of the country provides for. How do you justify that?
“This MDC of today is driven by individuals and loyalty is measured by being loyal to the leader and not the idea and belief.
“This culture is known in ZANU-PF. For 38 years we had Gushungo kuphela and now in ZANU-PF they have ED Pfee, what is that?
“In the MDC they have Chamisa Chete Chete, nothing different from what we opposed when we formed the MDC. So I believe the MDC is now a different party with a different idea and path different from what we had in 1999.”
Madhuku whose party has joined the national dialogue called by President Emmerson Mnangagwa defended his presence in the talks saying the talks were about reviving the country not propping Mnangagwa or his party.
“This is not a power-sharing dialogue, we do not seek to share or form a government of national unity, but we are exchanging ideas on national issues,” he said.
“I see people trying to give a new definition for the word dialogue.
“Those are not power-sharing talks, but a platform to share and exchange ideas with government. As opposition, we are using this to ensure we raise our demands in terms of economic reforms and political reforms in a civilised manner.
“So those who are saying we have no numbers are misplaced. It is not a game of numbers, but ideas and nation-building, having a shared vision for a better Zimbabwe.”
Asked whether the talks were not meant to legimitise Mnangagwa whose victory and legitimacy is being challenged by Chamisa, Madhuku said Mnangagwa’s legitimacy was not derived or conferred by an individual, but by law.
“The legitimacy of the president or government is not derived from you and me, but from the law. The day the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson announced that he had won the election and declared him as such, his legitimacy was dealt with.
“He is not a legitimate president just because Chamisa or MDC Alliance supporters have said so. He is a legitimate president by operation of the law. To make matters worse, he was confirmed a legitimate president by the Constitutional Court and Chamisa is the one who took the matter there.
“It was going to be a different matter had he not taken the matter to court. But he decided to take the matter there and a decision was made. We are a constitutional democratic country and therefore we abide by whatever decision the law makes.
“You have to understand that at all times people have their preferred leaders and it is normal, but the rule of law is supreme. So we are not there to deal with any legitimacy question.”