MDC succession wrangles: supporters speak

MDC supporters have called on their leadership to remain united and stop further dividing the party through leadership squabbles as it had the potential to give their rival, Zanu (PF) an advantage of winning grassroots support.

Pamela Mwinyi
Pamela Mwinyi

In separate interviews with The Zimbabwean, the MDC supporters said the party’s leadership had internal mechanisms of resolving their differences and they should strive for unity of purpose in their quest to fight for democracy.

Said Makanaka Chikerenzva from Zengeza 2 in Chitungwiza: “Factionalism is like a cancer which if it is not treated early, it has the potential to destroy the party from within.

“It pains us that there are individuals wanting to destroy the party after everything that we have been through because of our party.”

She referred to some of the party’s cadres that had died since the formation of the party and the grassroots supporters who had lost their arms and legs in 2008 because they were known MDC supporters.

“The struggle is not yet over and fighting among ourselves will give Zanu (PF) and advantage. It creates room for them to penetrate and destroy the party,” she said.

Mobilise support

Angela Mazhande from Unit M in Chitungwiza concurred and urged the party’s leadership to remain focused instead of trying to outwit each other out of power.

She said the energy that they were diverting towards pushing each other out of power should be diverted towards winning grassroots support.

She said because 2018 was not very far, it was important for the party to be solving election related challenges to avoid a replica of the challenges experienced last year during the July 31 elections.

“This is the time to be mobilising for people to be registered voters, verifying the voter’s roll and putting pressure on the government to action and rectify all the critical areas that paved way for election rigging,” said Mazhande.

Godfrey Mateverwa from Budiriro said the party was diverting its attention towards leadership renewal and yet the issue was supposed to be addressed at the party’s annual national congress.

“We need to co- ordinate ourselves and priorities issues accordingly,” said Mateverwa.

“Tsvangirai should let the people express themselves freely without fear of being victimised, assaulted, suspended or banned from the party. There should be true democracy.”

Dictator

Taurai Muchena accused the party’s leadership of concentrating on personal aggrandisement and promoting nepotism.

He said: “It seems the emphasis is now towards strategically positioning certain people who are sympathetic to certain individuals such as the party’s National Organising Secretary, Nelson Chamisa and president Morgan Tsvangirai."

Said another supporter, Marvelous Zenda: “We have sacrificed a lot for the party for it to be destroyed by people wanting power. This will make us no different from the party that we are challenging: Zanu (PF).”

Last week, scores of angry party supporters believed to be sympathetic to Tsvangirai staged a demonstration in Mutare calling for the dissolution of the entire Manicaland provincial executive.

Described by some as Tsvangirai loyalists, the supporters argued that the Manicaland leadership comprising of its chairman, Julius Magarangoma and provincial spokesperson Pishai Muchauraya are fanning factionalism and destroying the party.

Muchauraya and Magarangoma openly joined the chorus calling for the ouster of Tsvangirai as president by Treasurer, Roy Bennet and his deputy, Elton Mangoma.

Those who have openly called for Tsvangirai to step down have been suspended but Mangoma and the party’s secretary general, Tendai Biti have challenged the suspension as null and void.

David Katandika, 33 said it is important for the party leadership to practice what they preach against rival Zanu (PF), arguing that failure to adhere to the party’s constitution had a negative impact on the party.

Said Katandika: “We are always complaining that there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe because of Zanu (PF). We should also stick to our constitution in all our conduct because we have agreed that no one is above the law.”

Added Pamela Mwinyi, 27 who hails from Mudzi in Mutoko: “Politicians get into power to stay in power and this is what we are seeing in the MDC.

“Tsvangirai is on record saying that he will only serve two terms then he will step down, but because power is sweet, we are seeing that he is not ready to step down from the presidency of the party. I doubt that the same person can step down if he is made the leader of a country. Dictatorial tendencies are evident within the party and there is need to include how many terms a person should serve as president in the party's constitution.”

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