HARARE – A top MDC official has sensationally claimed that party officials, especially those who will be voting in the upcoming congress are being paid large sums of money to vote out Nelson Chamisa from the party’s presidency.
But Zanu PF has angrily dismissed the allegations.
MDC vice president Morgen Komichi said on Friday that Zanu PF has a budget to influence the outcome of the opposition MDC’s congress with the aim being to remove Chamisa who has refused to capitulate to the ruling party’s whims and caprices.
Chamisa has particularly irked the powers-that-be by refusing to participate in dialogue being initiated from the Office of the President and Cabinet.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year initiated a national dialogue platform involving all those who contested in the July 30, 2018 presidential elections but an obdurate Chamisa refused to play ball much to the embarrassment of the ruling party.
Chamisa, who is the country’s main opposition leader has refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s presidency, describing the Zanu PF strongman as an illegitimate leader who came to power through a rigged election.
This is despite the fact that the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land, dismissed the MDC Alliance petition to nullify the elections.
In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Komichi said Zanu PF wants to destroy Chamisa either by eliminating him before the MDC congress or sponsoring a “pliable candidate”.
“Zanu PF has two options to hurt Chamisa before congress or to sponsor a candidate. The idea is to buy our members in the region of $4 million to $6 million to destroy Chamisa.
Individual MPs have been approached, when they (Zanu PF officials) talk to us they make it clear that we should dump Chamisa for a more responsible leadership, they feel strongly that Chamisa is a stumbling block to their objectives. We are, however, not interested,” said Komichi.
Komichi told the Daily News on Sunday that they have evidence of an operation to ensure that the opposition gets a weaker leader during its congress.
“We will never interfere with Zanu PF processes. They should leave us alone. Zanu PF must not destroy a partner in a constitutional democratic country,” said Komichi.
This comes as the name of the party’s organising secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has been touted as the one to challenge the hugely popular MDC leader at the forthcoming congress due to be held between the 24th and 26th of this month.
Mwonzora, who once beat Chamisa in an election, stoked emotions in the opposition party when he said it is his democratic right to contest for any position in a statement that angered the majority of the party faithful.
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo ridiculed suggestions that the ruling party, whose officials have publicly expressed interest in the MDC congress, is interested in meddling in the affairs of its rivals.
“That is nonsense, we have nothing to do, with that we have two-thirds majority in Parliament, we are very strong,” said Khaya Moyo.
However, Zanu PF officials like the party’s secretary for youths Lewis Matutu have openly pronounced themselves on who they prefer to lead the MDC.
In a revealing statement on micro-blogging platform Twitter, Matutu wrote “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”.
Zanu PF is on record saying Chamisa’s refusal to accept Mnangagwa’s legitimacy is mere political posturing that is designed to cement his position ahead of the congress.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson recently told the Daily News that Chamisa’s stance is informed by the impending congress and not national interests.
“On the part of engagement we finished that with the elections. He should not waste our time. We know he wants to raise his stature ahead of his party congress, if he wants to help resolve the economic problem he should go to work. We will grow the economy through productivity, through putting shoulder to the wheel. He wants ED to help him build his profile, we have no time for that,” said Charamba.