SENIOR STAFF WRITER
SOME MDC Alliance bigwigs are said to be making a determined push to have the coalition’s firebrand deputy national chairperson, Job “Wiwa” Sikhala, expelled for his radical political activities and dogged opposition to Zanu PF and its government.
“Wiwa is in trouble with the powers that be in the party. This is why no one is making a real effort within to fight for him with regards to his current victimisation by the government. Some even want him to be arrested.“Some of (Nelson) Chamisa’s closest allies such as Hwende are also accusing Sikhala of using confrontational means to force Mnangagwa into dialogue.“They view his role in the July 31 movement as a sign that the likes of him and other hardliners in the party no longer see dialogue as an option, which the party is open to.“Sikhala is aware of the moves, but he maintains that the July 31 movement is a people’s initiative and above political parties as it even has the support of some Zanu PF bigwigs,” one of the sources told the Daily News.
“The feeling among many is that Chamisa is afraid to lead from the front, and his close lieutenants are aware of hard questions that have once again been asked of him regarding the July 31 protests.“The more Sikhala and the likes of Tendai Biti continue to take an aggressive approach against Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, the more question marks on Chamisa’s leadership — hence their push for Sikhala’s expulsion,” another source told the Daily News.
Two months ago, Chamisa barred Sikhala and some of his other most loyal associates — including his vice presidents Tendai Biti and Lynette Karenyi-Kore — from speaking to the media.
“Regarding communication, the correct position is that we are coming up with a social media protocol for the party because we cannot regulate individuals’ social media accounts.
“We can only manage the party’s and the constitution is clear that only the president, the secretary-general, his deputy and the spokesperson speak on behalf of the party,” Hwende told the Daily News then.
“I am currently worried about our people who are being attacked left, right and centre, including myself, and who are living in bushes — running away from persecution.
“If ever anything like that is happening (moves to expel him), I will see to that when I come out.
“I accepted the role to be with others in the quest for a corruption-free and looting-free society when people sharing the same vision with me invited me,” Sikhala told the Daily News.
“The demonstrations were basically citizen driven and I agreed to be one of their spokespersons. I could have been at my Law Chambers making money, but people’s interests supersede my personal interests,” Sikhala said further.
“The 31st July Movement is a Convergence Initiative of Citizens on critical and urgent issues of national concern affecting the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Zimbabweans.
“The 31st July Movement has broad based constituencies of all citizens, across the political divide, including those in Zanu PF who are not happy with the deplorable state of affairs pervading our country.
“It is wrong and crass for anyone to associate my position in the MDC Alliance with my role in this all-inclusive and broad based movement of citizens,” Sikhala said.
“Therefore when I speak, I am speaking on behalf of the broad citizens not on behalf of any political party.
“This is because citizen interests cut across the political divide. That is the objective of the 31st July Movement: to unite all our citizens.
“Zimbabwe needs unity today beyond political colour than at any given time,” he added.