COMMENT: MDC — fracturing into oblivion

25 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
COMMENT: MDC — fracturing into oblivion Professor Welshman Ncube

The Chronicle

LAST week the opposition was thrown into further but usual turmoil when MDC-T vice-president Dr Thokozani Khupe told journalists in Bulawayo that the party had split into two formations, one led by her and another by her estranged boss Mr Douglas Mwonzora.

The announcement by Dr Khupe followed her earlier suspension from the party along with former spokesperson Mr Khaliphani Phugeni.

The “split” of the MDC-T adds to a number of breakaways in the MDC since 2005 when Professor Welshman Ncube from the then party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

More splits were to follow in 2013 with Mr Tendai Biti who at the time was secretary general and deputy treasurer-general Mr Elton Mangoma leaving Tsvangirai’s party to form MDC Renewal before further splitting to form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, respectively.

Following the death of Tsvangirai in February 2018 and with the subsequent squabbles, Dr Khupe in March broke away from the party after Mr Nelson Chamisa wrestled power from her to succeed the party’s founding leader.

Dr Khupe retained the MDC-T party name forcing Mr Chamisa to contest the 2018 polls under the banner of MDC-Alliance.

This was before the courts in March 2020 nullified Mr Chamisa’s ascendancy to the party declaring Dr Khupe Tsvangirai’s legitimate successor.

In a congress held in December of the same year, Mr Mwonzora was elected MDC-T president, an outcome hotly contested by Dr Khupe, a stance that eventually led to her recent suspension.

Important to note is that all the splits in the opposition party have been punctuated by serious violence and attempts to hide behind the ruling Zanu-PF which has been accused of causing the break-ups.

However, two recent interviews have helped expose how at every split the MDC has trumped democracy, an ideal they claim to be advocating for.

Speaking during a panel discussion, Zanu-PF director for information and publicity Cde Tafadzwa Mugwadi laid bare the opposition’s duplicity in trying to cover their tracks regards the real reason behind their internal fights.

“It is known to the people of Zimbabwe that the MDC split several times. In 2005 the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai split.

Welshman Ncube formed a splinter group, when he re-united with Morgan Tsvangirai and they formed the MDC-Alliance as an alliance or an electoral pact, no one accused Zanu-PF of having caused the unity but when Ncube splintered from Tsvangirai, they said Ncube was an agent of Zanu-PF, didn’t they say that? They did,” said Cde Mugwadi.

“I’m saying for the record they called Ncube an intelligence agent but now they are together, they cannot tell us where Zanu-PF came in to unite them.

They said the same thing to Job Sikhala when he formed MDC 99, they called Job Sikhala a Zanu-PF agent now they are having him as the deputy national chairperson, they can’t tell us where they found each other and when did Job Sikhala and Welshman Ncube cease to be Zanu-PF agents.

“Biti splintered and formed PDP in 2013, they said Biti is being sponsored by Zanu-PF and is an agent, now they Mr Tendai Biti as vice president at the MDC-Alliance or whatever they call it now.”

In an interview with Alpha Media Holdings owner Trevor Ncube last week, Prof Ncube said accusations of being Zanu-PF in times of internal conflict in the MDC was always to create a side show.

“One of the most hurtful things which has been said about and of me is the very accusation that I am a CIO agent, when I was younger particularly around the first split of the MDC in 2005 and that was being thrown at me, I would be so distressed and there were times when I would simply stay at home because I found it extremely hurtful but itself evidently not true, it is a lie and regrettably those who started propagating it knew it to be a lie and it has been repeated and repeated,” said Prof Ncube.

Tellingly, on why such label was made against him, Prof Ncube said:

“It was always to delegitimise to sort of disqualify the issues that were dividing us at that time and in order not to deal with the issue for debate, you end the debate by calling someone CIO.”

This illustrates behind doubt that the greatest irony since the formation of MDC in 1999 is that the party and the many splinters of it that followed has had a perennial problem of respecting democracy, the very ideal they claim to represent.

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