By Staff reporter
The jostling for Job Sikhala’s positions ahead of the blabbermouth’s court case scheduled for this Monday in Masvingo, has reached fever pitch with a potential to further crack the deeply divided MDC party.
A source privy to the developments said the MDC bigwigs were anticipating that Sikhala, who is the party’s deputy national chairman and Zengeza West legislator, would be slapped with a jail sentence.
Sikhala is facing charges of subversion. He was arrested in July last year following allegations of contravening Section 22 (2) (a) of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23). He told party supporters in Bikita that his party would overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa before the 2023 general elections.
“There is an intense jostling and jockeying for Sikhala’s positions as bigwigs, among them National Standing Committee and National Executive Committee members believe that Job is likely to receive a 20 year prison sentence.
“The youth assembly wants one of their own to be the new occupant of the soon-to- be vacant chair. On the other hand, our senior founding members, also known as the Elders’ Council want the position to be taken by one in good and regular standing. The Elders were in the first place not happy with Sikhala’s occupancy of that critical office,” said the source.
Sikhala left the MDC led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai in 2010 to form his own political party, the MDC-99. He, however, rejoined the party to assume the powerful post after the death of Tsvangirai in 2018. His appointment peeved the party’s old guard who thought the promotion was at the expense of the steadfast and loyal members.
The source revealed the names being tipped for the position of vice chairman, among them is the party’s deputy organising secretary, Happymore Chidziva. Other hopefuls in the race are Costa Machingauta, youths assembly chairman Obey Tererai Sithole and Chamisa’s praise singer Paul Madzore.
The source opined that the real battle is going to be between Chidziva and Sithole with the later enjoying the wholesale support of the youths.
On the other hand, the source revealed that some party members were already positioning themselves for the anticipated by-election in Zengeza West Constituency.
Sikhala has gone into panic mode as his trial date draws closer. He established the Friends of Job Sikhala Trust to mobilise funds and supporters to throng Masvingo High Court on the trial day, a move that has been construed by his foes as an attempt to show his internal rivals that he is a force to reckon with.
Sikhala was in Masvingo this week to mobilise people himself after he got wind that Nelson Chamisa had instructed Masvingo Provincial Chairperson, James Gumbi to sabotage the mobilisation exercise. Sikhala is reporyedly now working with Tongai Matutu faction in the mobilisation drive.
Chamisa, the source said, was advised by his security department that Sikhala was mobilising people to swarm the court in a bid to outshine the MDC leader and send a strong message that he was a better and more effective leader of national stature.
This comes in the wake of a poorly attended rally on Tuesday where Chamisa launched the party’s 2020 agenda. The rally attracted only 3 000 people out of the projected 50 000.