by Tawanda Musariri
Embers of revolt are simmering in the opposition MDC against party leader Nelson Chamisa’s unconstitutional attempt to ring fence his safety by barring contestation of the party presidency in the 2019 congress.
Chamisa has openly told his National Standing Committee that the presidency is not open for contestation.
According to the party constitution, all positions in the party are considered vacant upon the sitting of congress. However, in an uncharacteristic departure from democracy and constitutionalism, Chamisa and his brow-beaters in the party have coined the ‘Chamisa Chete Chete’ (Chamisa Only) war cry to scare away potential contestants to the pole position in the party.
Chamisa’s biggest fear is on party Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora who upset Chamisa’s attempt at the secretary general’s position on the 2014 Congress. Chamisa had been bubbling with confidence before he was presented with a surprise defeat at the hands of Mwonzora.
Simmering tensions in the party seem to suggest a realist threat from Mwonzora’s candidacy for the presidency.
Meanwhile Chamisa’s front men in the autocratic design against fair competition are party chairperson Thabitha Khumalo and National organising secretary Amos Chibaya who took over from Chamisa in 2014. The duo is in a whirlwind national tour to torque settings to the Chamisa Chete Chete factory settings. By the time of writing, the pair was reported to have gone to Chitungwiza, Midlands and Manicaland provinces to sell their packaged position.
However, in Manicaland, renegade constitutionalists in the form of Samson Sithole, a losing primary elections candidate and Morgan Chipara, a former legislator, showered a meeting for this purpose with anti-establishment fliers. Among the messages let loose on the fliers read, “Nobody is above the constitution”; “There must be congresses for all party level structures”; “No to unconstitutional appointments”; “Biti and Ncube must return party property they took with them when they broke away”; “Biti and Ncube must start at branch level as per constitutional order.”
All the pronouncements on the fliers are in opposition to appointments made by Chamisa, who himself is a defacto leader after usurping the leadership of the party from Thokozani Khupe in February following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Chamisa has since appointed Biti Vice Chairperson and Welshman Ncube Vice President, both positions senior to Mwonzora.
Chamisa is surrounding himself with desperate personalities who cannot oppose him. The returning Biti and Ncube only came back to the old fold after their respective parties failed to gain useful political traction. The threat of litigation against party property they took upon their departure will also keep them in line. Both men were secretaries general when they left the party.
The Manicaland open defiance came as a surprise to Khumalo and Chibaya as the pair was not expecting junior party members to show such a spirited show against senior order. Mwonzora hails from Manicaland.
Eyes are wide open at Harvest House ahead of seven pending provincial visits by the Chamisa acolytes to sell the unconstitutional order.