Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) members have fired their president Mqondisi Moyo and dissolved his entire National Executive Committee (NEC) for neglecting duties, ignoring lower structures, and failing to lead as expected.
Despite this move, the members ruled out a split, saying MRP was a movement, which would outlive them.
The members also warned Moyo that it was useless to oppose their decision, as it was made by local provincial members and those based abroad.
The party will on October 1, 2023 hold a provincial and district meeting to elect an interim leadership and in the meantime, appointed Mbonisi Gumbo as the spokesperson while its national congress will be held next year in April.
Gumbo told a press conference at the Bulawayo Media Centre on Monday, that the party’s constitution allowed them to dissolve the NEC because it had stalled MRP’s progress.
“NEC failed to engage in meaningful and constructive dialogue with the lower structures in finding lasting solutions to the present crisis,” which he claimed had been present for the past two years.
“Instead of engaging in mature dialogue to resolve the matters, dissenting members are labelled state agents, spies, CIOs and all sorts of names. Why can’t you be mature in your leadership? Now everyone is a CIO. What kind of a party are we honestly?”
Gumbo emphasised there was no bad blood or personal issues between them and Moyo but their challenges were political.
“We approached Moyo and told him we are unhappy with the manner in which the party is run. He decided in his own wisdom, or lack of it, to disregard the members and PEC. Moyo decided he would not attend the meetings he was called to attend,” Gumbo said.
According to the spokesperson, the party president was given alternatives in the interest of the party.
“We asked if we could have the national executive dissolved and he remains as president then members choose their leaders from the vice president going down, Moyo rejected that idea. We then told him that since he rejected it, we would dissolve everyone, including him because the party is by the people, for the people and you cannot continue to disregard the members,” Gumbo said.
Gumbo also accused the party leadership of providing little financial or material support “except for bond papers and a paltry amount to be shared among all participating candidates.”
“We have exhausted all available channels in the hope that meaningful dialogue and engagement can be attained. A meeting held in Nkulumane on September 10, 2023, did not resolve much. The follow-up meeting scheduled for September 17, 2023, was called off without any consultation with everyone concerned and without any regard for members who had made travelling and accommodation arrangements,” Gumbo said.
Gumbo said party members were also dissatisfied with the lack of action to appeal against the conviction and sentencing of the MRP nine.
“No senior members have been to visit fellow comrades at Chikurubi until a last-minute visit by Organising Secretary Parton Xaba,” which he described as laughable and a desperate attempt by a “morally destitute executive.”
NEC was also accused of failing to inform party members of the precise inventory of all party assets including vehicles.
“Who is responsible for the fleet and why are all the vehicles grounded? That is not clear and cannot be tolerated,” Gumbo said, acknowledging that their MRP truck impounded in 2019 by police was still at Bulawayo Central Police Station.
Gumbo also described MRP’s 2023 electoral performance under Moyo as poor.
“When we went to elections in 2018, the entire NEC and provincial executive were complete. We had over 200 candidates in that election. We had more than 20 public rallies and the main one at City Hall was well attended. In 2023, we went to an election with a national executive that had no vice president, no treasurer while the entire executive was in South Africa. There was no one to address the public. We held only about two rallies,” he said.
“The secretary for information and publicity only issued four to five press statements in 90 days. That is how we rate the performance of the party. Obviously, under such circumstances, you don’t expect better results.”
MRP National Youth Chair, Chilumbo Mudenda said their decision marked the beginning of a new era.
“Our generation is different from other generations. We are a generation that does not accept anything that is full of non-conformities. We want to set a precedent as far as paving the future of every child in the African continent. We are saying what is wrong has to be said. If somebody who is opposing the government, who claims can do better does something wrong, we have to tell him there and there,” he said, adding that keeping quiet in the face of such pitfalls was why Africa was “going black.”
“It’s because leaders are not being confronted when they are doing a lot of things which are not constitutional and are undemocratic. We are fighting against acrimony and mediocrity against the dictatorship at every cost. Whether we’re in the government or outside the government.”
Mudenda added: “We have nothing personal against our President but we don’t want dictatorship. People might choose leaders of their choice. It is in the constitution of our times.”