by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is facing yet another split ahead of its elective congress scheduled for February.
The divisions are the latest setback to the party still reeling from a loss in the general elections held on July 30.
It has emerged current president, Nelson Chamisa, and secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora, are involved in a fierce contest for the top position.
Founding leaders of the party reportedly prefer Mwonzora to Chamisa while the latter’s loyalists are inexplicably pushing for the suspension of the secretary general following his reported bid to challenge the 40-year old leader.
Mwonzora is said to be facing charges of bringing the beleaguered
opposition party to disrepute.
An MDC-Alliance national council member said Chamisa was threatening to use his powers to suspend and expel officials opposed to his leadership.
Among those under threat include Mwonzora, who is alleged to have accused Chamisa of paying too much attention to gossip and misinformation from state security agents in a bid to expel him from the party ahead of the congress.
At a recent meeting, Mwonzora allegedly accused Chamisa of sending people to harass him.
“Chamisa interjected saying Mwonzora was clearly working against him and he enjoyed support from (ruling) ZANU-PF since he was recently endorsed by the rival party and war veterans at a press conference,” a source said.
MDC, which suffered a major split in 2005 and other fractures in recent
years, split in February this year following the death of founding
president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai’s handpicked deputy Chamisa, elbowed out Thokozani Khupe, the constitutionally elected deputy, for the top position.
He (Chamisa) eventually represented the MDC Alliance and lost the
presidential election to incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chamisa garnered 44,3 percent of the vote against Mnangagwa’s 50,7
percent. ZANU-PF went on to win 145 parliamentary seats against
MDC-Alliance’s 64 from a total 210 contested constituencies.
Morgan Komichi, MDC-Alliance national chairman, dismissed rumours of a split and accused ZANU-PF and the military of infiltrating the opposition
party and creating a wedge between Chamisa and Mwonzora.
“We are aware of their operations. They did it before and now they have
resorted to the same method of trying to destroy the MDC,” Komichi
Komichi meanwhile conceded the party regretted the departure of Khupe who contested the recent presidential elections as head of the MDC-Tsvangirai.
“We wanted to be as united as we could and we did all we could do to
ensure she remained with us but we could not,” Komichi said.
– CAJ News