THERE were worrying scenes this week when MDC vice-president Elias Mudzuri was confronted by parliamentarians from his party at a local hotel, publicly scolding him in a video that went viral for attending a meeting for legislators with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House.
Candid Comment,Faith Zaba
Mudzuri, who is the leader of opposition in the Senate and a member of the Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC), was also booed yesterday during introductions of the party leadership at the start of the MDC march at Africa Unity Square. The party vice-president was drowned out by jeers upon taking the podium, as thousands booed and sang “tengesa uone mashura” (sell out and you will see how we deal with you). Mudzuri’s attendance was seen as an endorsement of Mnangagwa’s presidency when MDC has refused to recognise his victory, claiming that their party leader Nelson Chamisa won the presidential polls held on July 30.
These scenes painted a disturbing picture of a growing culture of intolerance in the MDC.
It would have been valid if the MDC had totally boycotted parliament so that its legislators would not have to be villified for attending some state occasions. The meeting at State House was meant to fulfil parliamentary procedures, which require National Assembly and Senate presiding officers to present themselves to the President on assuming their duties. The provisions are covered by Standing Rule and Order Number 11.
This intolerance is now worrisome. Mudzuri, together with the party secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, were also last week condemned for meeting with Chief Justice Luke Malaba recently. The two survived the chop over the meeting and also for having ambitions to challenge Chamisa for the presidency. It is disturbing to note that this is not the first time that senior party supporters have been attacked publicly by colleagues. On some occasions, party supporters have resorted to violence to deal with those with opposing views.
MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe and her supporters were violently attacked early this year as she fought with Chamisa for control of the party following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February.
Three mayors, who were not the preferred candidates, have been fired so far since the mayoral elections, while 10 councils were suspended for defying a directive on mayoral polls.
This is a serious threat to democracy. They are threatening to silence every dissenting view. Because of the manifestation of intolerance, MDC is fast becoming the opposite of democratic principles it purports to represent. It is amazing that some people have already developed amnesia of how former president Robert Mugabe became an autocrat over four decades of oppression.
Chamisa spoke very well, like a true statesman, when he appeared before the Commission of Inquiry on the shooting by the military of six civilians on August 1 and even added that he is ready to come to the negotiating table with Zanu PF.
To then chastise Mudzuri for talking to the same person he is trying to reach out to is not only strange but smacks of shameless hypocrisy.