By Jeffrey Muvundusi
Mainstream MDC national chairperson Lovemore Moyo, who recently revealed his intention to quit politics, has dismissed reports of having any link with one of the party’s factions allegedly led by deputy president Thokozani Khupe.
Moyo, national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe and Khupe have been viewed as the kingpins of the cabal that has been strongly opposed to MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s stance on the MDC Alliance.
The cabal has been boycotting all events that have to do with the MDC Alliance, sending their message bold to the proponents of the alliance, in the process leaving the party on the verge of collapse.
Yesterday, Moyo distanced himself from the faction in an exclusive interview with Southern News.
“The allegations that I belong to the so-called Khupe faction are unfounded and false,” Moyo said.
“My position in the party as the national chairman and chairman of the national disciplinary committee does not allow me to belong to a particular faction within the party,” he said.
Probed further to explain his position since he had on numerous occasions seemingly agreed in principle with Khupe, Moyo said: “I don’t know where it comes from.
I thought it was an imagination of some few misguided elements within the party and media, because I am not and will never be a faction person.”
The former speaker of Parliament also dismissed claims that he and others aligned to the Khupe faction were contemplating joining the Joice Mujuru-led PRC as power struggles reach tipping point.
“That is a lie. I can safely speak for myself that I have never dialogued and had a meeting with the said PRC officials.”
Turning to the party’s internal factional fights, Moyo still believes that party’s fortunes will turn around.
“Chances of the so-called warring factions uniting are bright. We have already begun a process of closing ranks within the party leadership. In that regard, a series of the party leadership meetings has been scheduled to take place this week,” Moyo said.
The former Matobo North MP said the power struggles were a result of individuals who have exhibited “unquenchable thirst for power”.
“The party hasn’t changed its ideological thrust since its formation, that is, being social democratic and a labour-oriented movement.
“The current political challenges in the party have nothing to do with the principles and values of the party. On the contrary, it has to do with individuals who are exhibiting unquenchable thirst for power by all means necessary.”
Asked who has the right and capacity to lead the main opposition among the three vice presidents, Moyo preferred to refer to the party’s constitution.
“It’s not about what one thinks who should lead the party. It’s about who the party structures attending the national congress choose to lead the party. The election of the party president is governed by the party constitution and any qualified member of the party is free to contest any vacant position in the party, including that one of the president.
“So, it does not necessarily mean that the party members are restricted to choose their president from the current three vice presidents. In short, it does not mean that the qualities of a vice president are the same to those ones for the president of the party.”
He, however, feels that despite the leadership squabbles in the party, everybody remained loyal to Tsvangirai.
“It is now public knowledge that our president has not been well for some time and that he is seeking treatment in South Africa. The party and structures have remained loyal to his vision of a democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe. Both the party and MDC Alliance remain loyal to his leadership and wishing him a speedy recovery and good health,” he said.
He added: “Remember, in his absence, there has been an ad-hoc leadership arrangement for both the party and MDC Alliance which seems to be working at the moment.
In other words, president Tsvangirai is still the MDC president and the MDC Alliance presidential candidate for 2018 harmonised elections.”
. . . as Sibanda tears into MDC VP
Bulawayo provincial spokesperson for the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC, Felix Mafa Sibanda, has taken his gloves off against party deputy president Thokozani Khupe whom he accuses of high-jacking party members in the province to pursue her political ambitions as cracks continue to widen in the troubled party.
Over the weekend, Sibanda issued a statement on behalf of the province backing the appointment of vice president Nelson Chamisa as the acting party president in Tsvangirai’s absence.
Party provincial secretary Nomvula Mguni dismissed the move by Sibanda, accusing him of issuing personal views disguised as provincial statements.
“It’s his personal view. We never sat as a province to discuss such an issue. I am the secretary of the province and I am not aware of that and what that means.
It means he is speaking on his behalf not on behalf of the province,” Mguni said in reaction.
However, Sibanda did not take the response by Mguni lightly and described her as one of those who had been high-jacked by Khupe in their anti-alliance mission.
“The majority of the Bulawayo executive and structures are not surprised by the anti-MDC Alliance and anti-VP Chamisa’s acting capacity for the MDC party,” Sibanda told Southern News.
“We want to reiterate once and for all that it is most unfortunate that some of our members have been hijacked by VP Khupe and her other two colleagues. It is on record that Khupe has been boycotting the national standing, national executive and national council meetings for more than three months or more,” he said.
Sibanda said this was evidence that Khupe and her cabal were anti-alliance and “enemies of the people”.
He said while MDC was a democratic party that accepted divergent views it could not accept outrageous selling out for self-preservation.
“We therefore, shame anyone who uses tribal or ethnic card to divide Zimbabweans. We are one people, one nation with one density. We are calling everyone in Bulawayo in particular and Zimbabwe in general to refuse tribalism, ethnicity, regionalism, corruption, and all other divisive mechanism being applied by the anti-Alliance renegades so to speak,” he said.
“Khupe and her colleagues must rethink for there is still time to reconcile and move forward as a team of the MDC family. Splits are most counterproductive and a humiliation to the hopeful nation,” Sibanda said.
Khupe could not be reached for comment yesterday while her spokesperson, Witness Dube, accused Sibanda of seeking political relevance.
“We don’t have any motive to justify his nonsense. He is just but trying to seek political relevance so we can’t respond to that nonsense as we are not in his league,” Dube said. DailyNews