Fed up youths take MDC lead… but jury is out whether taking matters into their own hands will stem party chaos

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MDC youths appeared fed up yesterday with the main opposition’s senseless wars, after they seized the party’s iconic national headquarters in Harare amid chaotic scenes — before vowing to force dialogue between Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa, the Daily News reports.

In addition to commandeering Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (MRT) House, the discontented youths said their desperate action was meant to save the party from collapse as their leaders’ bloodletting escalates.
This comes as Khupe and Chamisa are involved in a vicious fight for control of the country’s largest opposition party, which has been riven with serious divisions ever since its founding father, the late and much-loved Morgan
Tsvangirai, died of colon cancer in February 2018.
It also comes after political analysts warned at the weekend that the ugly infighting had now put the once formidable party on the cusp of political oblivion.
Yesterday, former MP for Highfield West Happymore “Bvondo” Chidziva said bluntly that youths from the party’s current two main factions had had enough of their leaders’ brawling, and had resolved to take over MRT House to force them to hold much-needed internal dialogue.
“We have decided to go back to the 2014 structures and start working together without apportioning factions to each other.
Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe
“From there, we want all processes done properly — starting with the meeting of the national standing committee, national executive and the national council.
“We are sick and tired of the factional fights and for the past 21 years the youths have suffered the most. Some died along the way and we have realised that we have reached a point where the name MDC is about to be buried,” Chidziva told journalists outside a tense MRT House.
“We, therefore, want to have the past mistakes resolved like the Supreme Court directed and from there we come back and work as the MDC-Alliance in peace.
“The MDC-T is a component of the Alliance, but there were mistakes which need to be resolved by electing Tsvangirai’s successor. The leaders must find each other. That is the only thing we must do.
“We are past that time when we labelled each other Zanu PF,” Chidziva, who was youth leader in the 2014
structures, further told journalists.
“I have been engaging leaders in the party and we agree that Khupe is the acting president with Morgen Komichi as chairperson and Douglas Mwonzora as secretary general, while Lynnette Karenyi-Kore heads the women’s’ assembly in that order, so that we close all space for Zanu PF.
“The MDC-Alliance will still exist because it was started by Tsvangirai. So, this is only about the MDC-T component sorting its own things,” Chidziva added.
On his part, MDC Harare provincial youth leader,  Paul Gorekore, said they had taken over the symbolic party headquarters to unite the leadership and save the party from being hijacked by Zanu PF.
“Individuals have been making unconstitutional and illegal decisions without the mandate of the Zimbabwean voters, party organs from branches, wards, districts, provinces, the national executive and national council organs — which have not met since the Supreme Court judgment.
“The party has been infiltrated by sell-outs with an agenda to derail our freedom. It, therefore, follows that we must act to unite our leadership, our support base and Zimbabweans at large, and ensure the vision of Dr Morgan Tsvangirai lives on across generations,” Gorekore said.
“As the first line of defence of the party, the vanguards of democracy and the custodians of the party and its future, we have assumed all security duties of the party HQ, MRT House.
“This was necessitated by our realisation of the need to unite the people in the fight for a better Zimbabwe and defend the civilian space in the face of military State capture.
“We as the youths of the party as per 2014 structures, have decided to go beyond our differences and unite to resolve the current crisis,” Gorekore said further.
“This is not a one generation movement. We will define, defend and secure our future. This act of bravery was necessitated by the need to protect our beloved movement and the Zimbabwean people’s fight for better lives.
“We want the leaders to sit down and talk to each other because at the end of the day we the youths are the ones suffering,” he added.
This comes after Gorekore and about 30 other youths changed the keys to MRT House, before locking themselves inside.
As they held their meeting in the building, MDC-Alliance youths led by Denford Ngadziore fought running battles with the police, as they toyi-toyied in the vicinity.
Later in the day, Komichi was allowed into the building where he held a meeting with the youths. However, Mwonzora dismissed the youths’ move as unacceptable.
“We are going to take our property back today. They came and overpowered the guards at MRT House yesterday (Sunday), and they are still holding some of them hostage.
“We know that they were sent by Chamisa, but we will take it back. The people were organised by the G40 (a Zanu PF faction that was routed in November 2017) to take our building unlawfully and using violence.
“We are not going to listen to any demands from the youths because they are in a very weak position both legally and physically,” the fuming Mwonzora said.
This comes as the Daily News has consistently and accurately reported on the MDC’s senseless brawls.
At the weekend, political analysts also warned that the party’s futile infighting was driving the MDC to its death bed.
They also repeated their other warnings that the divided opposition would find it exceedingly difficult to compete with Zanu PF in the fast-approaching 2023 national elections.
Authoritative University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, was among the analysts who told the Daily News that the MDC’s name was now possibly fatally damaged.
“The problem is that the leaders at this moment are thinking with their hearts instead of their heads. They are using their sentimental attachment to the name but are only damaging their morale and confidence.
“To be honest, the weight of the name has been seriously eroded and the onus is now on the leadership to do the right thing at the right time.
“This rigmarole around a damaged name will not take them anywhere,” Masunungure said.
The MDC has been ravaged by ructions since Tsvangirai died of colon cancer in February 2018.
The party’s infighting went a notch up after the Supreme Court judgment earlier this year which upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court that nullified Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the party.

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