THE MDC-T yesterday resolved not to participate in by-elections for the 14 seats left vacant after the expulsion from Parliament of MPs who defected to the MDC-Renewal camp, effectively giving the seats to Zanu PF.
It has been learnt that the party was moving quickly to replace the seven legislators whose seats fell under the proportional representation system.
Though the party could not immediately confirm the replacements of the seven fired MPs, party spokesperson Obert Gutu said MDC-T had upheld its October 2014 congress resolution not to participate in any general or by-election before implementation of key electoral reforms.
“Our position is clear,” he said.
“We have a congress resolution and we do not vacillate or blow hot and cold.
“We believe in sticking to principle.
“The national standing committee met and it was unanimously agreed that we have a resolution of congress and we should not be seen to be blowing hot and cold.
“We say nothing has changed in as far as the electoral playing field is concerned.”
Gutu claimed they had gathered intelligence reports that the ruling Zanu PF had reactivated its poll-rigging machinery and was geared to put it to test at the forthcoming by-elections for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe and Mt Darwin West constituencies on March 27.
“We have discovered shocking inconsistencies,” he claimed.
“We have impeccable intelligence that points that Nikuv is alive and kicking and under the payroll of the Zanu PF regime.
“We will not legitimise the electoral fraud. Until and unless electoral reforms are fully implemented, we will not take part in elections.”
Earlier, MDC-T insiders had confided that there was “war” in the party over whether or not to participate in the by-elections.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was reportedly under pressure over the matter from some quarters, who felt the party leadership bungled in dealing with the issue of recalling MPs aligned to the MDC-Renewal, as that had compromised the party’s big tent approach and a possibility of reuniting pro-democratic forces to fight Zanu PF.
“There is a debate on whether we reverse the congress resolution or not because it will vindicate those who call Tsvangirai unstable,” said an impeccable MDC-T insider.
There were reports yesterday that some senior members of the MDC-T were jostling to take up the vacant seats to bring vibrancy to Parliament, but the party had to settle for less influential members to avoid a potential rift.
More than half of the party’s standing committee members are out of Parliament including Tsvangirai, chairperson Lovemore Moyo, deputy chairperson Morgan Komichi, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, treasurer-general Theresa Makone, her deputy Chalton Hwende and spokesperson Obert Gutu.
Sources said Yvonne Musarurwa was set to replace Evelyn Masaiti as MP, while David Chimhini was likely to replace Senator Patrick Chitaka in Manicaland.
Makone and Anna Chimanikire were tipped to join the Senate, as proportional representatives.
Other constituencies, the source said, were still being debated.