BULAWAYO – The MDC Veterans Activists Association (MDCVAA) has charged that the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC has been infiltrated by (mafikizolos) Johnny-come-late, who only care about getting positions while destroying the party from within.
The association is a grouping of founding members of the worker-based party that has posed a serious threat to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF’s continued stranglehold on power since independence in 1980.
Speaking to journalists in Bulawayo at the weekend, Khumbulani Sibanda, MDCVAA organising secretary, said all those calling for party leader Tsvangirai to step down were wasting their time.
“He is not going anywhere,” Sibanda said. “We have some people who only joined the MDC to get positions and to use our party to get into Parliament and Senate but they don’t have the party at heart.
“We also have some senior members that are mafikizolos who now think the party is their private property and are also destroying it from inside,” he said without mentioning names.
“We want to warn these people that their days are numbered and we will flush them out very soon.”
The MDCVAA was formed by MDC members living in exile in South Africa in 2008 to address welfare issues of founding members of the party.
It believes Tsvangirai remains the face of the struggle and those senior party members calling for him to step down should go and hang.
Sibanda said the MDCVAA believes Tsvangirai lost the presidential elections because of Zanu PF rigging and that some of his lieutenants were not playing along to justify their calls to topple him.
Zanu PF has strenuously denied the rigging charges, saying the MDC was beaten fair and square.
“We lost the elections but we are behind Tsvangirai. If a party congress is called upon to look at issues to do with leadership renewal, we will support him,” Sibanda said.
Only last week, former Harare mayor and senior party official Elias Mudzuri suggested that Tsvangirai should “ceremoniously” step down and become the “Nelson Mandela of the party.”
Losing MDC Marondera candidate Ian Kay also recently called for leadership change comparing Tsvangirai to a “rusty bolt” and a captain of a sinking ship, joining treasurer-general Roy Bennett and another senior figure, Eddie Cross, who have both called on the former trade unionist to quit.
The MDC is set to have an elective congress in 2016.
But following the party’s electoral defeat in the July 31 harmonised elections, word is flying around in the party for a special congress to address calls for leadership renewal, with Tsvangirai being the target for toppling.
Tsvangirai has expressed willingness to continue leading the party.
South Africa-based Victor Zunza is the MDCVAA national chairman while former Mbare legislator, Tichaona Munyanyi is the secretary-general, Sox Chikowero is the chief advisor and Tsvangirai is the patron.