President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s hopes of destabilising the opposition through underhand dealings and his hopes of turning around the worsening economy alone will fail because he is not God, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has said.
The youthful leader made the bold statements on Friday evening while officially opening the MDC Midlands caucus in Gweru.
In apparent reference to the recent High Court ruling made by Justice Edith Mushore nullifying his leadership of the MDC, Chamisa accused Zanu PF and its leader of burning the midnight oil plotting to destroy the opposition through underhand mechanisms.
“Zanu PF is panicking … now they are trying to stop our congress. They will not have everything go their way. ED (President Mnangagwa) is not God. He cannot have all his wishes succeed. Look at the economy, it is giving him problems. He is failing to deal even with sewerage blockages in towns,” he said.
Chamisa vowed that the congress will go ahead despite the court ruling.
“The court is trying to stop us. But we will not stop. This party is no longer touchable. We have just come from the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s memorial to appease the spirit of our founding father. That was not in vain. It will give our party strength to fulfil his agenda for change,” he said.
“We are aware of mechanisms by Zanu PF to destabilise our party. They want to divert focus of the masses. Our focus is politics. We respect what judges say. We respect our lawyers, but above all we are a political party. We formed this party alone. Our congress will go ahead.”
Chamisa warned MDC top officials he said were working with Zanu PF to destroy the party from within, saying they would be kicked out at congress.
“We are changing the direction of the party. We will no longer just walk with anyone. We will scrutinise our leaders. We need genuine cadres. At the congress, we are going to tie to the plough the oxen that pull. If you are a cadre working with our enemy, we will not tolerate. This is a people’s party. We want to start counting each other. Those who are not with us can go out. This party is now too strong, it will not split,” he said.
Douglas Mwonzora, the current MDC secretary-general, together with deputy president Elias Mudzuri, have been accused of working with Zanu PF and fingered as behind the court application that challenged Chamisa’s leadership.
Presenting his manifesto during the caucus, Mwonzora avoided the subject and, instead, narrated his history in the opposition pointing to his commitment to the MDC party. He also expressed loyalty to Chamisa.
“If elected to retain my post in the MDC, I will tirelessly fight for electoral reforms that will see our leader Nelson Chamisa safely going to occupy State House,” he said.
“I have worked in Copac and in the MDC on top posts. If elected to be secretary-general again, I will work on electoral reforms to ensure Nelson Chamisa goes to State House.”
He was not jeered as Chamisa kept warning the crowd against such conduct and, at one time, Mwonzora received an ovation during his speech.
Chamisa dismissed the notion that MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe had been given the greenlight to take over the MDC Alliance by the Mushore ruling.
The youthful leader said he went to elections last year under different parties with Khupe and it was unimaginable how someone can come and take over their neighbour’s house. He said Khupe was welcome at Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House only as a visitor.
Chamisa also charged that government should avail funds owed to MDC under the Political Parties Act and warned against the State channelling the funds towards Khupe’s MDC-T on the basis of the Mushore High Court ruling.
Other party cadres who addressed the caucus included vice-presidency aspirants, Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti and Senator Morgen Komichi. Mudzuri did not pitch up due to ill health.
Joel Guebuza and Thabitha Khumalo, who are vying for the national chairman’s post, also presented their manifestos. Charlton Hwende and Daniel Molokele told the crowd about their ambitions to be party secretary-general, while David Coltart and Tapiwa Mashakada shared their visions as treasurer-general aspirants.