Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
MDC-T deputy president Engineer Elias Mudzuri yesterday confirmed the chaos rocking the party’s process to select representatives ahead of national elections, alleging imposition of “rich strangers” at the expense of poor loyalists.
Never shy to criticise his leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa’s leadership style, Eng Mudzuri said the party was shooting itself in the foot by shunning loyal members.
Eng Mudzuri’s sentiments come at the back of demonstrations by members at the MDC-T headquarters in Harare on Monday over imposition of candidates. The placard waving members accused some unnamed officials of imposing their girlfriends as candidates.
The party was plunged into chaos after the MDC-T introduced the controversial “consensus building” process where candidates agree among themselves on who will represent the party.
Posting on micro blogging site Twitter early yesterday morning, Eng Mudzuri said the party was being cruel on itself by sacrificing long serving members.
“We MDC-T are being cruel to ourselves in candidate selection by allowing strangers a free ride at the expense of our long serving loyal committed cadres. Those with money and connections come through the window displacing poor trusted cadres Recipe for infiltration and destabilisation,” (sic) posted Eng Mudzuri in a sign of growing frustration over Mr Chamisa’s handling of issues in the party.
His comments ring in sync with protestations by Harare West legislator Ms Jessie Majome who this week announced that she would contest as an independent candidate alleging that she was being pushed out of the constituency.
Many MDC-T supporters concurred with Eng Mudzuri on Twitter saying the party was being insensible.
“Eng Mudzuri you are very correct about all this. The true cadres who stood with the party when there was a threat of it breaking up are the same people who are being thrown away in favour of those who left. It does not make sense even if you want renewal,” twitted one of the supporters.
“Chamisa is dictatorial, very uncomfortable in the co of people with a better intellect than his. His inner circle has Zwizwai n Hwende men who encourage the barbarous Vanguard to couch his ego by inviting him to inspect a guard of honour. Surely who does that. It’s so kindergarten.”
Yet another wrote:
“This can not be allowed in the party. We dn’t want a repeat of 2013 whr we saw charlatans like Eric &Ezra hijacking e party at e expense of genuine cadres.”(sic)
This is not the first time that Eng Mudzuri has criticised Mr Chamisa.
Last month, he cast aspersions on the presidency of Mr Chamisa, saying members had “followed the wind” in choosing him as the late founding party president Morgan Tsvangirai’s successor.
He said the party could be forced to change its leadership if Mr Chamisa loses the coming elections.
Eng Mudzuri also raised issue with the expulsion of former fellow deputy Dr Thokozani Khupe and other senior officials from the party saying the matter could have been handled differently.
Former MDC-T spokesperson who is now vice president in the MDC-T camp led by Dr Thokozani Khupe, Mr Obert Gutu said: “Chirasha, (Eng Mudzuri’s totem), you have seen the light. The chickens are coming home to roost.
“In big numbers, they’re coming over to work with us, some big names coming to work with us. They’re telling us they have always agreed with our uncompromising stance on constitutionalism, the rule of law, on – violence, peace and solidarity.”
Another Chamisa faction senior member Mr Job Sikhala said some influential elements in the party were imposing weak surrogates to represent the party as a way of backstabbing Mr Chamisa.
Said Mr Sikhala: “Hitler knew there were back stabbers and Ian Douglas Smith knew there were great betrayers. Some people think we are not seeing their back stabbing and betrayal actions against our young President Nelson Chamisa.
“These are people who are removing other candidates’ names from the contesting panel so that their weak and unwanted surrogates avoid primary elections and stand a chance to stand as a party candidate.
“These are people who want to impose themselves through chicanery knowing well they have got no support. They name drop the president’s name as if they are friends when in actual truth they are not.’’ —@nqotshili.