Cracks emerge in MDC Alliance over roping in of Mugabe

Mr Nelson Chamisa

Mr Nelson Chamisa

Takunda Maodza, Harare Bureau
CRACKS have emerged in the MDC Alliance barely three days after President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF won in the July 30 harmonised elections, with a senior opposition party member yesterday saying roping in former president Mr Robert Mugabe on the 11th hour to bolster the opposition vote was a blunder.

This is coming at a time there are indications some officials in the MDC Alliance are baying for Mr Chamisa’s head, blaming him for the party’s embarrassing loss reminiscent of 2013 when he was the commissar.

Those in Mr Chamisa’s corner like Mr Job Sikhala are, however, vowing to fight anyone who raises issues against their leader.

In an interview with our Harare Bureau yesterday, secretary general in the Chamisa led MDC-T Mr Douglas Mwonzora, said he was against the involvement of Mr Mugabe and made his position clear even before last week’s harmonised elections.

“My opposition to Mugabe is known in the party. I did not like Mugabe. I have opposed working with him. I think Mugabe is a kiss of death. I still maintain that,” said Mr Mwonzora.

“I do not think there is any wisdom in working with him. We are not working with Mugabe as a party. Mugabe is 94 years old. He must just rest. He must not be involved in political processes of the country. I think at 94 he must rest and have nothing to do with the country. That is my personal opinion. I am against any association with Mugabe.”

During campaigns, Mr Chamisa often boasted about his association with Mr Mugabe.

At one rally he paraded members of National Patriotic Front (NPF), a political party formed by Mr Mugabe through proxies like Eunice Sandi-Moyo as the real Zanu-PF, which the MDC Alliance was working with.

He also boasted that Mr Mugabe supported his presidential bid and would officially hand him power as the first president of the Second Republic.

The relationship between Mr Chamisa and Mr Mugabe became an open secret when the 94-year-old addressed a press conference at his Harare house on the eve of the elections, urging the nation to vote for Chamisa.

On July 30 a frail Mr Mugabe found energy to go to Highfield to vote with his wife Grace and other family members.

Yesterday Mr Mwonzora said only a verification of the results would tell whether the MDC Alliance won or lost the ballot — a statement at variance with Mr Chamisa’s unequivocal claim that he won the election.

“Only when the verification has been completed can we be in a position to comment whether we lost or not,” he said.

But other politicians in the MDC-Alliance like Mr Sikhala are ready to fight anyone critical of Mr Chamisa.

Mr Sikhala posted a warning on his facebook account yesterday.

“Someone posted me a story from today’s Sunday Mail insinuating that there are people in the Alliance who are plotting or fighting president Chamisa over the way we must treat the shameful results of the presidential votes announced recently,” he said.

Mr Sikhala said they were not going to tolerate “any such nonsense”.

“Let me state it unequivocally here that no one should ever dare distract Chamisa from accomplishing what we have asked him to do for us as Zimbabweans. Let it be known and set as a warning that we will not tolerate any nonsense again to destabilise the party. If there is anyone harbouring such ambitions to destabilise the party, be warned beforehand,” he said.

The MDC-Alliance, which claims the July 30 polls were rigged, has so far failed to produce proof.

Instead it has gone on social media begging for V11 forms from wellwishers to buttress its allegations although before the elections its leaders claimed to have graphic evidence of how the elections would be stolen.

A V11 form is an original document carrying results from a polling station and is signed by agents of all contesting political parties.