MDC laughs-off split claims by the Herald

JOHENNSBURG – The Zanu (PF)-controlled Herald newspaper, which, according to the recently signed Global Political Agreement, should be giving balanced editorial coverage to both Zanu (PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change, has climbed laughable heights in alleging non-existent divisions within the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)

This is cheap propaganda which MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said cannot hoodwink the people and is as threadbare as what Thomas Mapfumo described as Mamvemve or just tarted and torn clothes.

Chamisa he was forced to respond to what he called “shrill propaganda from a newspaper that has since lost its credibility,” claiming MDC secretary general Tendai Biti was taking a hard  line opposed by other MDC leaders in the negotiations. 

Despite Tsvangirai warning before Christmas that he was going to consult the national leadership of his party about whether to continue negotiating with Zanu (PF) or not while the government is still holding its activists on spurious charges, the newspaper alleged that the meeting called by Tsvangirai in SA is to mend rifts within the top hierarchy of the party.

“Zimbabweans know that the only political divisions that exist are in Zanu (PF) where contrived accidents, internecine succession battles and factionalism have wrought deep rifts, mistrust and suspicion across the length and breadth of the dying party,” said Chamisa.

In a sign of running out of ideas propagandists at The Herald had revived allegations made several months ago that there were factions in MDC gunning for a leadership contest in February 2009, allegations which Chamisa dismissed then and has dismissed again:

“For the record, the MDC President and all members of the party’s standing committee, including Hon Biti, were elected for five-year terms at the MDC Congress on Sunday, 19 March 2006 and their terms expire in 2011.

“There is no reason why the MDC secretary-general, himself a lawyer of unquestioned repute and a key figure in the drafting of the MDC Constitution, would wish for an illegal Congress in February 2009.”

The Herald’s questionable political and features editor, Ceasar Zvayi, had also alleged that “MDC financial advisor” Eddie Cross and other white members of the MDC national council, were supporting a leadership bid by Biti as part of their attempts to protect white interests.

“Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the MDC would know that Hon Eddie Cross is the Policy Co-ordinator-General and not the party’s financial advisor as peddled by the Herald.

“The lies are too threadbare, indeed too naked to be taken seriously by the discerning people of Zimbabwe who overwhelmingly voted for the MDC on 29 March 2008.”

It is common cause that several resolutions by the MDC national council have reiterated the fact that all outstanding issues, meaning equitable distribution of ministries, governorships and appointments, and reconstitution of the National Security Council (rather than the JOC which which only knows about abducting and killing opponents) have to be resolved before the party can become part of the inclusive government.

These resolutions, including those of the last National Council held in Kadoma on Friday, 12 December 2008, have been unanimous.

“This means there are no divisions within the party; the party has one position regarding the issue of the inclusive government.

“No amount of propaganda against the MDC and its leadership will improve the waning political fortunes of Zanu PF. No amount of malice, hate language and distortions will be able to transplant divisions and factionalism from their home in Zanu PF to the MDC.

“No amount of fiction will change the fact that Zimbabweans see their only hope in the MDC and its leadership as expressed by the people’s vote on 29 March,” he said.

The Herald also alleged that the MDC was worried that President Mugabe might go and form his own government, unilaterally, which the MDC has said in many different words Mugabe can go ahead and do, but it would not be a government of national unity; it would be a violation of the Global Political Agreement and the MDC would continue with its democratic struggle