ZIMBABWE – With Zanu PF arguably at its weakest point ever due to its deadly factional and succession wars, there are claims that the ruling party is working to weaken the MDC ahead of the 2018 elections by manufacturing divisions among opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership team.
Both Zanu PF and MDC sources claimed in interviews with the Daily News yesterday that President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party was “hellbent on stirring animosity” between Tsvangirai and former MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa.
“There is a massive propaganda and disinformation campaign against Save (Tsvangirai) and the MDC by Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 national elections.
“The sad reality is that some MDC bigwigs are biting this misinformation blitz by the CIO,” a Zanu PF source said.
An MDC official corroborated the view, saying some of his senior colleagues were allegedly and “willingly participating in the plot as
they feel that with Chamisa out in the cold their own political careers will fly”.
“Many colleagues in the party know that after Tsvangirai very few can stand against Chamisa as you know that this young man has a strong support base. This is why they also want to eliminate him from the equation before Tsvangirai’s departure,” the official who is sympathetic to Chamisa said.
Although Chamisa is not a member of the MDC’s standing committee – its top decision-making body – some of his comrades have accused him of allegedly leading a party faction that wants Tsvangirai out, a claim that Tsvangirai himself is said not to support.
After Chamisa lost elections for the party’s secretary-general post to Douglas Mwonzora last year, many of his internal detractors thought that the youthful legislator was finished.
However, he has confounded them by continuing to participate fully in party processes and remaining the most visible party legislator in Parliament where he often locks horns with senior Zanu PF bigwigs. For the past few weeks, State media have been awash with reports of the alleged divisions between Tsvangirai and Chamisa, as well as claims that the latter is leading a powerful faction that wants Tsvangirai out.
“If you look at all this, you will see that this is a well-calculated move to force president Tsvangirai to act against Chamisa.
” But I tell you that no one will separate the two as you know they have come a long way together,” another senior MDC official said.
Contacted for comment, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the opposition movement was united.
“The MDC is a united political party under the very able, visionary and charismatic leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai. Let me categorically state that there is absolutely no friction or rift between Morgan Tsvangirai and Nelson Chamisa,” Gutu said, adding that the party’s detractors and State security agents were “busy” trying to create a picture of friction and disaffection within the MDC.
“The truth of the matter is that there’s no leader within the MDC structures who is unhappy with the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai.
“Zanu PF infiltrators, as well as CIO agents are busy at work trying to collapse the people’s project, the MDC. But they will never succeed in destroying us. We are as solid as the rock of Gibraltar.
“We know that the CIO has set aside a staggering amount of $100 million in a counter-intelligence project to destroy both Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC that he leads. But all these nefarious plans will come to naught. They will never see the light of day,” Gutu added.