FORMER Zanu PF kingpins — who for years determinedly worked to obliterate the MDC, but now claim undying love and loyalty to the party and its leader Nelson Chamisa — are causing great discord in the country’s main opposition, the Daily News reports.
So bad has the situation become that the MDC’s respected former secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, was forced to warn his colleagues openly yesterday that the party needed to be wary of Zanu PF’s vanquished Generation 40 (G40) faction kingpins who are worming their way into the ranks of Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition party.
This comes after some G40 kingpins recently claimed that they had funded Chamisa and the MDC’s 2018 election campaigns — even as some of their grand assertions relating to the funds that they allegedly paid for this appear to be dubious.
It also comes after former minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, said that he had met Mwonzora and then MDC treasurer Theresa Makone ahead of the 2018 polls, allegedly at the behest of the main opposition party’s late founding president Morgan Tsvangirai.
In addition, Moyo also recently insinuated that Mwonzora was working with a famous businessman to influence the outcome of a Supreme Court case involving Chamisa and the MDC’s former deputy president Thokozani Khupe — relating to the control of the assets of the country’s biggest opposition party.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Mwonzora — who is now the MDC’s deputy secretary for international relations — said he was clearly a victim of a smear campaign by former Zanu PF officials who now claimed that they were pro MDC.
“I have never met Jonathan Moyo since he was removed from office in 2017. I have talked to him over the phone, but I never met him in person.
“Zimbabweans are being taken on a wild goose chase … so that that way people don’t organise, hoping that there will be a miracle.
“I also have got nothing to do with the Supreme Court judgment … as you may know, the party withdrew its case against me and now I am focused on my constituency,” an aggrieved Mwonzora said.
“My advice to the party is that let us be vigilant. We cannot be divided by outsiders. We have come from afar with this movement.
“I want to see the party succeed, that’s my aim and objective and I am sure that my colleagues share the same objective,” he added.
And in a further stunning revelation that exposes the rifts in the MDC relating to the party’s opaque engagements with former Zanu PF officials, Mwonzora said outright that it was a lie that the country’s main opposition party had got any support from G40 elements in the run-up to the 2018 general elections.
“I was the secretary-general of the MDC in 2018 and part of my duty as the secretary-general was to receive and record any donation from people.
“I did not see anything from Moyo or other former Zanu PF kingpins for that matter … absolutely nothing came to the institution,” the former MDC secretary-general said.
Mwonzora, who has been at loggerheads with Chamisa’s supporters since 2018 — following the death of Tsvangirai — said the smear campaign against him was gathering pace, which he claimed was a plot to cause divisions in the MDC.
“A desperate smear campaign has resurfaced against my person. The aim of the smear campaign is to keep the party internally focused, divided and weak.
“Unfortunately, the peddlers of these falsehoods do not understand the nature of our party.
“To all the MDC members and supporters I want to assure you that I am not and have never been in receipt of any money from a prominent businessman or anyone else for that matter. I don’t even know much about him,” Mwonzora said.
“At any rate, I am not a judge of the Supreme Court. I also notice a number of threats to my person. That is nothing new.
“I want to assure our MDC members that I have never and will never betray the people’s struggle. We must remember where we came from together.
“There are people who yesterday beat us up and murdered our brothers and sisters who now want to masquerade as our friends. We cannot allow them to divide us,” Mwonzora said further.
“I will never kiss the hand that murdered our youngsters, including Tonderai Ndira, Beta Chokururama and Godfrey Kauzani and many others for any reason whatsoever.
“Our founding father Morgan Tsvangirai left us this party so that we prosecute the people’s struggle. We welcome people to join our great movement. But we can’t allow the same people to divide us.
“The people of Zimbabwe are suffering and they are looking up to us to lead them to salvation. They are living in abject poverty and misery. We will fail them if we allow ourselves to be divided by enemies of democracy and progress,” Mwonzora added.
Writing on social media earlier, Moyo accused some opposition officials of trying to bribe the judiciary in order to ensure that Chamisa would lose the battle for the control of the party to Khupe.
He also said that he had met with Mwonzora in 2018, further slamming him for misleading people about his relationship with Chamisa.
“Besides the delegations from Thokozani Kupe’s MDC-T who wanted resources, and the high powered team of Mwonzora and Theresa Makone, we received on two separate occasions in February 2018 & April 2018, visitations by senior leadership from Joice Mujuru’s Rainbow Coalition.
“It should be clear that encounters and engagements in politics do not constitute relationships.
“February claims that the so-called G40 forged permanent links with Chamisa in 2018 are false and hypocritical, as they have come from hypocrites who sought our support,” Moyo said.
This comes as the MDC is witnessing escalating chaos among its structures nationally — some of which has readily been admitted to by the party itself and ascribed to leadership incompetence.
It also comes as the MDC is still struggling to heal the rifts that were caused by Chamisa’s highly-contested ascendancy to the party’s leadership in 2018, following the death of Tsvangirai — who succumbed to cancer of the colon on Valentine’s Day that year.
Speaking in Bulawayo last month, a day after dissolving the MDC’s Masvingo provincial executive, Chamisa himself bemoaned the factional and tribal wars that are threatening to destroy the party around the country.
“Tribalism is a new phenomenon that is emerging in the party of late … It is a headache for me.
“This is a new phenomenon that we have to confront and that is part of the reason why I am engaging structures to make sure we get to the bottom of this issue,” he told the media at the Bulawayo Press Club.
The 42-year-old opposition leader addressed journalists a day after he had wielded the axe on the entire Masvingo executive — amid claims of growing factionalism and leadership incompetence.
Chamisa told the press in the second city that he was determined to end the tribal wars which he said had also affected the Bulawayo City Council (BCC).
“I have seen that in local authorities, and now you hear these undertones of tribalism. It is important to understand that as the MDC this is an issue that we have to confront.
“When we formed the MDC, most of the people … were actually from Matabeleland, but we were not looking at regions.
“We were looking at the content of the character of an individual in terms of nation building. That is how it has always been,” Chamisa said then.