Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has given himself vast, sweeping powers over all party matters under the guise of a new, hastily-drawn constitution, party leaders said.
Under the new party document seen by Now Daily but virtually kept secret from the party rank and file, Mwonzora must now approve all statements by portfolio secretaries and shadow ministers before they are published. The move is seen as defeating the democratic practice of allowing shadow ministers and portfolio spokespersons to comment on issues while official statements are being prepared.
“No one is allowed to speak except Mwonzora. The shadow cabinet doesn’t exist anymore. Portfolio secretaries and spokespersons are required to have statements authorized by the secretary-general in writing. But Mwonzora doesn’t reply to any correspondence, even official letters from the United Nations! This means we are now muzzled,” said an MDC-T shadow minister.
Party sources said Mwonzora was preparing his own way to the party presidency while appearing to be concentrating power in under-fire party president Morgan Tsvangirai’s office. Analysts said Tsvangirai was trying to consolidate his position through a new constitution after previously losing control of party assets to expelled secretary-generals Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube.
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