Chamisa reads riot act to MDC-T factions

MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa last week read the riot act to warring factions in the party amid strident calls for leadership renewal.

Elias Mambo

Party insiders said Chamisa wrote a memo to the provinces stating that debate on leadership renewal should be done orderly through party structures and not in the media or any other public fora.

“The memo is very clear that the national leadership is going to discipline anyone, regardless of position in the party, who discusses the leadership renewal debate on platforms like media and social networks,” a senior party source said.

“We know Chamisa has remained in (party) president Morgan Tsvangirai’s camp and the memo is meant to assure the structures Tsvangirai is still in control of the party.”

Sources also said Chamisa told the party structures that there was no one with the clout to unseat Tsvangirai outside a congress.

In an interview with The Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday, Chamisa denied he is trying to stop the structures from discussing leadership renewal.

“I cannot divulge the contents of the memo but I can confirm we have written to our structures to inform them of the current developments in the party as well as to assure them that the democratisation agenda of Zimbabwe is far from over,” Chamisa said.

“It was also important for the party to stress to the structures that as we engage in the leadership debate we should do so in a transparent manner. We are a party of excellence and we represent democracy, but at the same time we should not take the debate to outside forums that have nothing to do with our party principles,” he said.

Following the controversial defeat in the July 31 polls by his arch rival President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF amid rigging claims, senior party officials blamed Tsvangirai for the loss, calling on him to step down and make way for a new leader.

As the fissures continued to widen deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma joined top party leaders like national treasurer Roy Bennett and national executive members Ian Kay, Eddie Cross and Elias Mudzuri, who have called on Tsvangirai to step down after losing three consecutive elections to Mugabe.

However, Tsvangirai successfully brushed aside calls for him to resign in last week’s national executive meeting where his leadership and candidature for the 2018 election was endorsed.