The forthcoming Movement for Democratic Change’s elective congress has stirred as much interest in opposition party, as it does in the governing party, ZANU-PF.
When news went around allegedly claiming that MDC-Alliance president Nelson Chamisa, was ring fencing his presidency from possible challenge during the coming congress, ZANU-PF apologists were the first to lambast him.
They labelled him a little dictator, who fails to live to the middle name of the party ‘democratic.’
What surprised many was since when has ZANU-PF been known for speaking of democracy.
Since former president Robert Mugabe’s time, it was a taboo to harbour any interest to either challenge or succeed the president. This had over the years, claimed the scalp of some ruling party senior officials.
Be that as it may, the same scenario is also going on under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is entangled in a fight with his deputy Constantino Chiwenga. The fight is allegedly getting nastier with Mnangagwa purging Chiwenga’s sympathisers within army senior ranks.
The main reason that has since aroused Mnangagwa’s interest in the MDC congress is that he is reportedly all in force planning to use it to fight and politically destroy Chamisa on his behalf.
Mnangagwa knows very well that Chamisa is popular than him, the youthful opposition leader is also even more popular than his party (MDC-Alliance).
In the recent contested polls Chamisa claimed that even in such areas in which his party struggled, he has been fairing well. That saw his party failing to garner the much needed two-thirds majority while he narrowly lost to Mnangagwa by inches.
Chamisa is more popular than ZANU-PF, MDC-Alliance, as well as Mnangagwa. As if to confirm it, his rallies even after the elections have been well attended. He is the man of the moment, and Mnangagwa would want the opposition party to do the dirty work for him, by voting him out.
Intelligence coming from party insiders is that he is sponsoring a challenger for Chamisa, while also using the media to remind the opposition leader that democracy is about putting all positions including the presidency up for grabs.
While it cannot be denied elections are the measure for democracy, when it comes to opposition parties, Mnangagwa cries more than the bereaved. He wants it to eliminate his fierce contender for him.
Mnangagwa’s popularity graph rose high when he dislodged Mugabe, but fell heavily when he failed to prove that he was not a same Mugabe with a different hair cut.
Mnangagwa is struggling to deal with Chamisa and would be happy to if the MDC congress would do the work for him. Unconfirmed reports are that he is planning to plant challengers at the opposition’s congress to upstage the youthful and charismatic leader.
Apparently, MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has reportedly thrown his hat into the ring as a challenger for party presidency at an elective congress set for May this year, while the other possible contender is co-vice president Elias Mudzuri.
Mwonzora expressed interest and is on record saying as a full member of the MDC has full rights in terms of party’s constitution to contest any position including for the presidency. He adds that he is now waiting for the nomination process to see where he will be nominated.
He recently reportedly told a local online that one’s desire was not enough as has to be nominated by at least one provincial assembly.
While it is democratically up to the MDC to vote with the future of their party in mind, the congress could be the make or break for its long term survival, the ball now all in their court.