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MDC tug of war rages on

22 Aug 2019 at 12:05hrs | Views
The tussle for power between the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa and his loud mouthed deputy continues unabated with the youthful leader introducing a plethora of standing orders to ring fence his position, The Harare Post has established.

An insider within the MDC national executive revealed that Chamisa views Tendai Biti as a power hungry lieutenant with presidential ambitions which he intends to fulfil through unorthodox means.

"Chamisa no longer trusts Biti, moreso with the growing influence and popularity that the latter is enjoying in the party. Biti is receiving standing ovations and more thunderous welcome at our rallies and even at executive meetings than the president (Chamisa).

"For instance, on 6 August at MRTH (Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House), the president was visibly angry when the national executive members gave Biti a standing ovation more than him," said the source.

He said Chamisa was particularly annoyed by the unsanctioned slogan that praises Biti.

The MDC supporters now have a habit of shouting "usa usa" whenever Biti takes to the stage. According to the source, the slogan is inspired by the belief that it was Biti who introduced the United States dollar while he was the minister of Finance and Economic Development in the Inclusive Government.

"As you know that Biti is the one who introduced the US dollar which subsequently stabilised the economy, there is a strong belief among the rank and file that if given chance, Biti can once again extricate this country from the economic doldrums it is in.

"He (Biti) is a friend of the West especially the Americans. We got funds for the congress from the West through him. Even some few dollars we got from the US for the demonstrations came through Biti," said the source.

He, however, said Chamisa was annoyed by the fact that Biti never used the money for its intended purposes. He said Chamisa accused Biti of using the donated money to shore up his faction and boost his chances of torpedoing Chamisa.

Chamisa, through his right hand man, the party's organising secretary, Amos Chibaya, has banned all unsanctioned slogans.

"There is a prohibition order for all slogans that seek to praise any party member other than the president and the late founding president (Morgan Tsvangirai)," the source said.

However, the ban continues to be defied as members carry on showering Biti with accolades at rallies and meetings.

Chamisa has also reportedly lost love of his party's national chairperson, Tabitha Khumalo who suspects that there is a plot to remove her from her position of leader of the opposition in Parliament.

The source said the MDC leader was also losing provincial support, mostly from Manicaland, Bulawayo and Harare.

"The growing unpopularity in provinces emanates from allegations that he rigged the provincial congresses in favour of his cronies like Prosper Mutseyami (Manicaland chairperson) who was less popular than David Chimhini in Manicaland.

"He has been trying hard to replace Masvingo chairperson, James Gumbi yet he is the most popular person in the province. A few weeks ago, Chamisa personally phoned and threatened Gumbi with recalling should the party lose the two impending by-elections in the province," said the source.

He added: "In Bulawayo, Chamisa is allegedly putting on the back burner, the Ndebeles and making sure that the Shonas run the show. I think you are privy to what has been happening in Bulawayo City Council. That (Tinashe) Kambarame is his blue-eyed boy and the sacking of the town clerk (Christopher Dube) by Kambarame had Chamisa's blessings."

The source said Chamisa also rigged the Harare provincial congress in favour of Wellington Chikomba at the expense of the more popular Eric Murai. As a result, the source said, Chamisa's imposed executives had no people.

Tensions continue to threaten the party with the powerful US wading into the tug of war, pulling on Biti's end of the rope. The US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Brian Nichols recently visited

Source - John Sigauke
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