HARARE – Zimbabwe’s main opposition party has made sensational claims that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is sponsoring dissent within its ranks.
MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa told the Daily News that the party had unearthed a plot hatched by Zanu PF to destroy the opposition movement, but hastened to add that “the party is on guard”.
Zanu PF yesterday denied sponsoring the rebellion, saying it has no money to waste destabilising a party that dismally lost the July 31 vote.
But Chamisa insisted there was a desperate ploy to influence matters in the MDC.
“We even expect the same ploy that was used in regards to councillors to be employed in Parliament,” Chamisa told the Daily News.
“We have seen these ploys even in our structures, trying to plant discord and a destabilising agenda, but we are vigilant, we have told our cadres to be vigilant and to be on the watch out.”
Since losing the July 31 elections, the MDC has endured a rough-run, amid allegations of serious divisions in the movement.
Senior officials, such as the party’s influential treasurer-general Roy Bennet, have come out guns blazing calling for leadership renewal.
Meanwhile, last week, the depth of the party’s crisis was also exposed when councillors defied the party’s directive to vote for selected candidates for mayoral posts.
Several councils where the MDC has a strong majority went to Zanu PF amid claims that the ruling party had compromised its councillors using cash.
Dissent in the MDC has given currency to calls for Tsvangirai to pass the baton.
However, Chamisa said the party is fully behind Tsvangirai, who lost his third election bid against bitter rival Mugabe since entering the political fray 14 years ago.
“Far from the misbegotten and misconceived perceptions of an organisation that is cannibalistic and eating itself from inside we are focused,” Chamisa said.
“We are focused that the crisis in Zimbabwe is a crisis of governance, a crisis of mandate and the deficit of democracy and we are focusing our energy on that.”
“Let me state this, there is no succession crisis in the MDC. You cannot have succession where there is success.
“Our leadership has succeeded to fight dictatorship in this country. Now as regards to people like me, we are neither capable nor suitable to constitute any succession that is being talked about.” Chamisa said reports that the party faces an implosion amid an internal revolt were false.
“We are solidly behind our leader, we have done a survey of our party and our structures and all are behind his leadership,” Chamisa said.
“There is no need for any false debate, which is being sponsored by Zanu PF. If anything, Tsvangirai is the centre of stability. We reject any attempts which have been placed by Zanu PF to cause discord.
“MDC is not a house on fire as is being sought by Zanu PF. I am glad I had discussions with Roy Bennet and we are open to debate.” Bennett has called for Tsvangirai to quit saying he is no longer popular.
The Kuwadzana legislator said, ranged “against a formidable opponent such as Zanu PF” there was need to inculcate discipline in the party.
Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF administration secretary, said his party does not have money to waste infiltrating the MDC.
“Ngaafunge zvakanaka mfana uyu (he should be reasonable),” Mutasa warned.
“In Zanu PF we don’t have money to waste. The MDC are the ones who say we are in a free Zimbabwe, so people are free to make their choices.”