- "... There is evidence of insincerity and inconsistent behaviours and utterances in how each and every one of them handled this matter of threatened personal designs and desires. That background was fertile for Zanu-PF to take advantage of."
By Mutsa Makuvaza
FORMER Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni believes the current factional and blood-letting battles in the opposition MDC have their genesis during the time founding party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was in power.
Tsvangirai, who died on 14 February 2018, had a year earlier handpicked Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri to be party Vice Presidents along with Thokozani Khupe, yet the two had lost the elections at the party’s previous congress.
As Tsvangirai’s body lay in state, Chamisa launched a palace coup and grabbed power from Khupe, employing the helping hand of party vanguard youths to silence his critics.
“I pick a blend of issues in the painful drama playing out in our MDC “family” – in its former context and content. The very source of our problems was the appointment of the two Vice Presidents followed by Morgan Tsvangirai’s death,” Manyenyeni wrote on social media.
“Then the eventual succession, after his sad demise, was not handled to the satisfaction of (certainly) some of the aspirants and also many observers.
“The struggle for change had/has taken too long to the frustration of voters. These succession concerns and also the frustration seem to have hit the leadership even harder.”
The former Harare Mayor, who was in office between 2009 and 2014 when Tsvangirai was a State Prime Minister, goes on to accuse Chamisa, Khupe, Mudzuri and other top opposition figures for pursuing personal interests at the expense of the public who have stood behind the party over two decades.
“Subsequent fallout from and among the following ( Khupe, Chamisa, Mudzuri, Mwonzora and Komichi) all stemmed from personal political interests and NOT public political interests.
“The behaviour of all these leaders in varying degrees was bent on defending personal political interests first and foremost. There is evidence of insincerity and inconsistent behaviours and utterances in how each and every one of them handled this matter of threatened personal designs and desires. That background was fertile for Zanu-PF to take advantage of.”
The MDC family made sure that dialogue and reconciliation were not priority early enough, says Manyenyeni.
“Now it is way too late for that route. If you want to see an MDC person fight fiercest just give him an internal enemy to fight. Within the party the glaring absence of grey-haired ELDERS and custodians of the common good who have nothing to gain has been so noticeable. No internal remedies are on record.
“Zanu-PF has taken advantage of the internal fights to mount a bigger brutal external campaign. This shameless involvement has been the decider. Zanu-PF’s hand is very visible in the worsening crisis,” Manyenyeni complained.
He further avers: “The MDC has crafty people and brutal people but not so many criminally brutal people to have orchestrated what has been unfolding. Only the broader Zanu-PF ie including state institutions has that capacity.
“What we have seen the last few months is a shrewd HIGHLY TECHNICAL operation fully funded by the State in all material respects.
“The abuse of the State institutions to torpedo democracy particularly the police and the courts reached unprecedented levels.
“Most of the splinter factions are operating what I would call “Project Shaisano” – a fatal scorched earth policy which has attacked and overturned democratic outcomes and put the party on life-support.
“Accusations of leadership cluelessness from the terraces are not entirely unexpected. Our people play their bare minimum parts but prefer to watch, observe and make comments.
“Our people have very little time for detailed analysis and critical performance attribution. They hardly interrogate what is there to achieve what with in the conclusions.
“Most markedly our population is third party the political issues are not theirs. They don’t belong to politics. They view and comment from a distance. Because of this they demand that MDC must outsmart the Zanu-PF apparatus which includes police, judiciary, CIO, army, ZEC, and most Government offices etc.
“90% of Zanu-PF work and costs are on the account of the taxpayer while MDC depends on the poor membership and the voters Is the people’s party leadership in denial? NO ! They know what has SINCE hit us. Is the party in a position to respond to this ZanuPF-enabled tsunami? … That remains to be seen,” Manyenyeni concludes.
However, a top MDC Alliance official who spoke to the Zimbabwe Voice in comfidence said it was insincere to blame all of Chamisa’s challenges on his predecessor Tsvangirai, as Chamisa had the opportunity and time to follow the party constitution but chose otherwise.
“People who want to blame Tsvangirai for all the challenges facing Chamisa must also blame President Mnangagwa’s shortcomings on his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
“We all saw what happened when Chamisa chose to grab power by the muscle of vanguard youths while tossing the party constitution out the window. He had all the chance and time to do the right thing and chart his own way, but he messed up. The same has happened in ZanuPF where Mnangagwa has chosen to exacerbate whatever brutality Mugabe started. Both Mnangagwa and Chamisa are adults and must own up for their excesses.” – Zimbabwe Voice