Friday, May 10, 2019

I will talk to Khupe and hear what she says: Mwonzora

Simba Chikanza (SC) spoke with Advocate Douglas Mwonzora.
SC: Good afternoon honourable Mwonzora. Can you hear me sir? Simba Chikanza here.
Are you happy? Excited?
Mwonzora: Yes.
SC: …with the court verdict Sir? I have been trying to hear (from you), are you in acceptance with the court verdict; are you one of those who are calling for an appeal against it?
Mwonzora: I am not commenting on the High Court verdict Simba. I am sure the spokesperson of the party made a statement on behalf of the party.
SC: Ok so you stand by that statement of the spokesperson?
Mwonzora: I have spoken to you already I have already spoken to you Sir. I have already answered.
SC: But sir, Thokozani Khupe claimed that she was going to be working with you.
Mwonzora: I am sorry I am sorry my friend, I think you should forewarn me if you want to interview me.
SC: Oh I apologise, I thought that I had done that; I had notified your aide when you were in Parliament?
Mwonzora: I did not know.
SC : Would you like us to start right now?
Mwonzora: You know what Simba, I am sorry. I am sorry I may sound rude to you; it is not my nature but I do not want to comment about it.
SC: Thank you sir. I had to ask you because your name is in print. Thokozani Khupe has already has made ownership…
Mwonzora: What are the specific allegations against me maybe I can throw it off?
SC: The allegation against you is that you are behind the High Court defeat of Nelson Chamisa yesterday and also that you are working with Khupe and she has communicated in a statement that you are working with her, this morning.
Mwonzora: Well, you must understand that the High Court application was filed last year in September and in that High Court application I am the 5th Respondent, in other words I am being sued as well and the judgement was against me as well; how can I be behind it and for what reason? This is just a smear campaign by my opponents in the party they always want to find something to blame me when things go wrong. There is a court case the party has lost the court case my own opinion I did communicate my opinion to the leaders of the party on how we could have averted that disaster; but to say that I have anything to do with it it is simply a smear campaign Simba; I have nothing to do with it.
Regarding now what Thokozani Khupe said in her statement, I saw it today; the statement says that she will communicate with the Secretary-General of the party. What it means is right now as we speak there is a court judgement, and in terms of that court judgement there is a certain status which is there until that verdict has been varied; until the court verdict has been overturned, then the status quo as per judgement, so I don’t see anything sinister about that; so she has not communicated with me and unfortunately she has issued a statement but I have not received any formal communication with her.
People lose court cases, they don’t lose court cases because there is Douglas Mwonzora there. This is not the first time that we have lost a court case. We lost the election petition it was not my fault; now that there is a high court case yesterday, how is that my fault?
SC: And, lastly thank you for that. Your having been mentioned by her in her statement, are you not going to respond against it because she has stated… are you not disturbed that she has rushed to mention you?
Mwonzora: Certainly not, I see nothing wrong with that. I see nothing really wrong there because she says that she is going to get in touch with the Secretary General of the party. I am the Secretary General of the party it is when she gets in touch with me that I will appropriately respond to her, remember this is a statement in public I don’t have to respond to it. I will respond to the specific communication that she talks about me in her statement. That is the civilized thing to do in my view. So I am waiting for her communication, and I will respond to it accordingly. But for me to trade conversations with her through the press will not be proper. She simply was not directing this to me, she was directing to the public to inform them that I am the secretary-general of the party when she does that I will speak to her I want to put it up that i do not view her as an enemy, I do not view her as a person that I do not talk to and converse with. So I will talk to her and will hear what she has to say and I will respond.
SC: Are you not concerned Sir. I am sorry that I am repeating it but this is the other bit now which is how other legal experts have interpreted that judgement that it has numerous failures, misdirections that have led to it being seen as a defective judgement?
Mwonzora: Sorry, Simba.
SC: Other legal experts say that the verdict which she is celebrating is a defective judgement, there are numerous misdirections over 12 misdirections and would that not give some sort of position or preposition to you not to even imagine communicating with her?
Mwonzora: I am a legal expert as well. And I see nothing wrong with talking to a person who has said she wants to talk to me in my official capacity as the secretary-general I am not going to close that door, it is not a civilized thing to do and it does not make political sense to me. Now, I have seen a lot of commentaries on the judgement, I agree with some I do not agree with some and so on. And I have looked at the judgement myself, I have my opinion and I have communicated my opinion to the leadership.
SC: In private you communicated all that in private and did not make it public?
Mwonzora: Yes I communicated in private just like I did last year before this matter was even lodged in court;you may want to know that I did convene a meeting involving Dr Khupe, Advocate Chamisa, and Elias Mudzuri, I did commit I did convene a meeting with them in my capacity with the Secretary General and legal advisor and I did give them what I thought was the legal opinion, was the legal position of the party, whether they took or did not take it is another matter; and I also in my capacity as the secretary-general I then advised that they should seek external legal counsel, and get an external legal opinion on the issue; we got that legal opinion, whether they followed it or not is another issue, but the thing is I did what I could in my capacity as Secretary General. Now there will be a lot of comment on a judgement. Some of the comments are political some of them are legal now this in my view when you look at that judgement you will have to look at it from a legal point of view does it make legal sense what are those things that the judge is talking about do they make legal sense? So the fact that a lot of people have commented I saw one comment by a respected academic which showed me that he did not read the judgement. Errm he was rambling and so on I did not expect that from an academic of his calibre he is a person that I respect, and I have privately conversed with him that he should first read things before he comments.
SC: So in essence, you are seeing that this judgement is strong;it is sound basically?
Mwonzora: Well, I have opinion on this judgement that I don’t want to communicate right now to the public I have communicated opinion to my leaders now I won’t tell the leaders what they want to hear; I will tell the leaders the legal position and the legal opinion; that is what I am there for. That is what I am elected to do; I am not defending anything;I am not attacking anything but I think that the analysis of the judgement so far done is poor.
SC: You mean that the analysis that is criticizing the judgement so far is poor?
Mwonzora: The analysis that has been done, it does not criticise the judgement only. Now, what people have been commenting on the judgement… for and against has convinced me in some instances that they did not apply their minds to it; and I am urging all our legal experts to read the judgement first so they can give sound Advice. Now we are unable to get sound Advice from what has been written so far, because it has been done in a poor way.
SC: would you say here that the threat for instance to seize property by Obert Gutu is normal, because he has already announced that MDC property is going to be transferred to Khupe. You as the Secretary General would you stand in opposition against that?
Mwonzora: Exactly Simba this is my point; it shows that Mr Gutu did not read the judgement; the judgement did not say transfer property it does not talk about property at all. There is no way in the judgement where there is the issue of property or money is talking about this is an extension of the judgement it is not there in the judgement Simba if you look at it. So these are political statements this is political banter and it is not helpful what is important is what the judgement says. What the issue at stake is. What does the judge say, it does not make a judgement on property at all.
SC: So, lastly let me ask you there are accusations; I am sure you have seen allegations against your character… generally you being that very same person who is standing to gain because now quite frankly Nelson Chamisa has been your nemesis ever since 2014 the very same year to which this judgement extends, the roll back. How could you assure the public here, that you do not stand to gain from a loss in this case of Nelson Chamisa or a de legitimising of Nelson Chamisa [LONG PAUSE]. I think I have lost you there sir.