Zimbabwe main opposition party facing real threat of split


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The coming Movement for Democratic Change congress could split Zimbabwe’s largest opposition party and paralyse it ahead of the 2023 elections though they are still four years away.

The warning was issued by MDC vice-president Elias Mudzuri, a veteran of the party and one of the leading contenders for the president’s post.

“The coming MDCT Congress threatens to tear the party apart & jeopardize our chance of winning 2023 elections – ruining the hopes of millions Lets do what is right,” Mudzuri, who has been unusually quiet in the past few days.

Mudzuri was humiliated by his juniors when he went to State House to present himself with Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda before President Emmerson Mnangagwa as one of the senior representatives in Parliament.

He is the leader of the opposition in the Senate.

“MDCT must respect its Constitution – remove fear & factional divisions to enable members to elect a leader that will unite us and focus on ending suffering in Zimbabwe,” Mudzuri went on.

Mudzuri’s sentiments seemed to be aimed at party president Nelson Chamisa who has been touting himself as founding president Morgan Tsvangirai’s anointed successor.

While Chamisa is highly popular, largely because of his youth and oratory, he has split the party with some reports saying the split is even evident at Harvest House, now known as Morgan Tsvangirai House, where some floors are occupied by his supporters while others are no-go areas for them.

Chamisa’s support base seems to be young members who are mostly regarded as hooligans and have literally turned Chamisa into a cult while the old guard that stood the ground for years behind Tsvangirai are solidly behind Mudzuri and Mwonzora.

The old guard believes Chamisa cannot unite the party because he does not listen to advice and wants “yes-men” behind him.

Mudzuri’s tweet also revealed something that most of Chamisa’s supporters might be overlooking and that is why perhaps he emphasised that the party must respect its constitution.

The coming congress to be held from 24-26 May is an MDC-Tsvangirai congress and not an MDC-Alliance congress which means, as Lewis Matutu of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front said, will work out in favour of Mudzuri and Mwonzora.

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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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