…as Chamisa tightens grip on party presidency
NYASHADZASHE MAJONI/GARIKAYI MATAVA
GWERU- The ruling Zanu PF has now put the issue of the impending MDC Alliance elective congress on its politburo agenda with the pursuit of influencing the intra-party electoral processes for the main opposition party and get rid of its incumbent leader, Nelson Chamisa ahead of the potentially explosive two-day congress set for 24-26 May, high-ranking party officials have claimed.
Chamisa’s perceived loyalists who include his deputy Morgan Komichi and national organizing secretary Amos Chibaya said the MDC Alliance leader had already been ‘endorsed’ by the reportedly 2,6 million voters who they say balloted in his favor during last year’s harmonized elections. According to Komichi, the ruling Zanu PF has been working on destabilizing the party ahead of the impending May Congress amidst reports that the ‘moneyed’ long-ruling party seeks to use its financial muscles to elbow out Chamisa by sponsoring dissent against the MDC Alliance leader.
In his endorsement of Chamisa during yesterday’s post-election rally dubbed the ‘Victory Rally’ at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru, Komichi claimed that Zanu PF has been treating the impending MDC Alliance congress as part and parcel of their agenda.
“The national organizing secretary (Chibaya) stated that we are now going for the congress, right? What this means is that we are now going to rebuild our party. Therefore, when we are rebuilding our party- it is the MDC which is rebuilding and not Zanu PF. We are fully conscious of what Zanu PF is planning to do. In their politburo agenda, there is an item named ‘MDC Congress’. What this means is that there are people who are being paid by Zanu PF to destabilize our party”, said Komichi.
On the other hand, the 41-year-old trained lawyer and cleric lightly claimed that he was prepared to step down in the event that his party finds ‘a potential replacement’ for him during the forthcoming elective congress. Chamisa also equated himself to a neighborhood watch police officer who was anointed by the late founding father of the MDC Alliance, Morgan Tsvangirai- who he labeled the ‘officer-in-charge’ of the main opposition party.
“Ndiwo musangano waTsvangirai ka uyu: waakasiya watekeshera nyika yese. Tsvangirai ndobva andisiyira mangoromera- mangoromera erunyararo, mangoromera erugare. Vamwe vanoti kufa kwemujoni kamba haivhagwi. Yedu haivhagwi inosara ina ‘ndini-ndamubata’. Saka ndiri ‘ndini-ndamubata’ ndiri pano. (This is the party which Tsvangirai left. Tsvangirai left his spirit on me- the spirit of peace, the spirit of harmony. There is an adage which says the death of the police sergeant hardly certifies the closure of the police camp. I am the NWC operative who was left by Tsvangirai)”, said Chamisa in the vernacular Shona language.
Political temperatures within the main opposition party have literally reached boiling point and since late last year after he controversially lost to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the disputed presidential elections, Chamisa has reportedly been working on ring-fencing his presidency in a bid to cling on to the echelons of power.
Chamisa’s co-deputy Elias Mudzuri and Secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora are largely understood to be eyeing the party’s presidency. Whilst Mudzuri was conspicuously absent at the Mkoba rally, Mwonzora skirted delving on the hot-blooded Chamisa succession issue when he took to the podium.
Mwonzora, who famously beat Chamisa for the position of Secretary General in 2014 is largely understood to be working on a scheme to unseat the current MDC leader during the forthcoming congress where all leadership positions are up for contestation. Mudzuri- a relative outsider in the presidential matrix has on several occasions snubbed party activities for fear of public humiliation amid claims that the Chamisa camp has been on an overdrive, intimidating perceived Chamisa rivals ahead of the May Congress.
Last year, Mudzuri was publicly humiliated by the MDC Alliance’s senior officials Charlton Hwende and Sesel Zwizwayi for ‘dining with Mnangagwa’ after the ex-Harare Mayor defied a party directive by attending a parliamentary meeting graced by the 76-year-old Zanu PF leader at State House.