By Mugove Tafirenyika
Rifts have widened in the MDC after the party’s acting president Elias Mudzuri refused to play second fiddle to his co-deputy Nelson Chamisa who was slotted as the main speaker at yesterday’s Chitungwiza rally.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC Alliance presidential candidate, has chosen Chamisa to stand in for him and to handle all the party business within the Alliance — as the former prime minister battles cancer of the colon. He is undergoing chemotherapy in South Africa where he is said to be suffering from severe treatment side effects.
Things came to a head yesterday when Mudzuri — who Tsvangirai has appointed as the acting MDC president — was asked to give a speech at the MDC Alliance rally before Chamisa.
Mudzuri refused to take to the podium, insisting that he should speak last. His remonstrations fell on deaf eras.
Speaking to the Daily News soon after Chamisa’s address, MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube confirmed that Mudzuri had insisted on speaking before Chamisa despite the fact that Tsvangirai had told his fellow principals that he would be represented by the Kuwadzana East legislator.
“The reality of the situation is that, like I said when I addressed, Tsvangirai gave us Chamisa to work with and instructed that he is the one who attends the Alliance’s strategic meetings, speaks on his behalf at rallies and so forth,” Ncube said.
In his electrifying address, Chamisa said he had been tasked by Tsvangirai to ensure that the Alliance becomes a reality and that he should ensure that founding members of the party including Ncube, Tendai Biti and Job Sikhala, among others who had broken ranks with the opposition party, rejoin the party.
Admitting that there are problems regarding the Alliance, Chamisa said he would soon engage all party leaders who had issues with the coalition to resolve the differences.
“I was given a job to see to it that this Alliance works and if there are issues that need to be resolved, we are going to be engaging those affected constituency-by-constituency to address the challenges although we are not going to go back regarding the vision of our leader that we must unite. Kana uchida chigaro mu Alliance hausi wemo asi kana uchida ugaro (If you are after positions you have no place unless you are in pursuit of a better life for the people), then we are together,” Chamisa said.
He advised party leaders with reservations about the Alliance to play along first and then complain later saying “the Alliance programme is an idea whose time has come.”
“The Alliance is a moving elephant and you cannot stop it. You cannot stand on its way, you risk being trampled. There is a formula to all this and remember Tsvangirai applied his mind before he came up with the idea. He wants to the party go back to where it was when we formed in 1999,” he said calling on Biti, Ncube and Sikhala to join him on the podium. DailyNews