Who is more ZANU-PF, Mwonzora or Chamisa?


Writing in Bulawayo 24, a Henry Madiro said: “Soon after the detention of Chibaya the Gweru MDC MP and party’s organizing secretary I joined a group call FREE CHIBAYA. This group I thought was made of democrats who want true democracy to prevail.  After being in the group for a while I realised that in this group if you say anything that does not support Chamisa you are a real enemy. You are deliberately labelled ZANU-PF.”

According to the Daily News, Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora is now being labelled as a front for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front because ZANU-PF youth leader Lewis Matutu tweeted that Mwonzora is likely to beat Chamisa at the party congress in May.

The media and commentators totally ignored the reason that Matutu gave. He said: “Mwonzora likely to become the new MDC Alliance president because majority of Chamisa’s hooligans are not in the structures of their party and they don’t form part of the congress delegates?”

What should have been interrogated is whether what Matutu had said was a fact or not, even if it was coming from a rival party leader.

There is no doubt that Nelson Chamisa has overwhelming support, but this support is largely measured by attendances at rallies but are his supporters card-carrying party members who can vote at congress?

Ardent supporters of the MDC should also look, soberly, at who has been linked to ZANU-PF more?

Mwonzora started working with Morgan Tsvangirai, founding president of the MDC in 1992 as legal advisor to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions when Tsvangirai was secretary-general of the labour movement.

There have been very few allegations that he was linked to the ruling party, especially when Tsvangirai was still alive, and in 2014 Tsvangirai endorsed him for secretary-general of the party ahead of Chamisa who had been organising secretary.

The labelling of Mwonzora as ZANU-PF works well Tendai Biti, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the MDC-Alliance. He was quick to label Mwonzora “a ruling party chosen half-wit”.

Biti was quoted by the Daily News as saying: “We will reject any nincompoop given to us by ZANU-PF. We already have a candidate in … Chamisa. So, we will not tolerate that.  Our duty is to protect the legacy of our dear leader Morgan Tsvangirai and we know with Chamisa we will be able to do that.”

Biti, who broke away from Tsvangirai in 2014, told a United States embassy official in 2008 during negotiations for a government of national unity that Tsvangirai was an idiot and his “idiocy was shocking.”

The Daily News said that Biti is eyeing the post of vice-president at the coming congress.

Chamisa, Tafadzwa Musekiwa, Learnmore Jongwe and Job Sikhala were named as ZANU-PF plants by the late Trudy Stevenson way back in 2001 when Chamisa was only youth leader while the other three were Members of Parliament.

Former President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao last year said Chamisa was a ZANU-PF project.

This must have raised a lot of questions because Mugabe endorsed Chamisa at last year’s elections and the National Patriotic Front which had Mugabe’s blessing endorsed Chamisa for president, leading to the party splitting just before the elections?

One MDC supporter questioned why the government was so quick to give Chamisa $1.8 million under the Political Finances Act to Chamisa immediately after Tsvangirai’s death when Chamisa took over and his leadership was being disputed.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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