By Mugove Tafirenyika
Last weekend’s cancellation of a scheduled rally in Harare by Thokozani Khupe’s MDC formation could be evidence of the party’s lack of support, a rival formation led by Nelson Chamisa has alleged.
Khupe’s party had planned to launch its manifesto at the Harare showgrounds (Nelson Mandela Hall), but the event flopped after its candidates for the general elections and supporters failed to turn up.
But the faction has laid the blame squarely on Chamisa’s party, which allegedly intimidated their supporters.
The party’s secretary-general, Nickson Nyikadzino, said the launch had to be postponed indefinitely so that “we can deal with housekeeping issues in our party”.
“The Nelson Chamisa cabal, so to speak, stopped most our members from coming to this launch by perpetrating political violence in different constituencies and areas in order to send a wrong signal that we don’t have people yet we have people,” Nyikadzino said.
“The same way Nero (Chamisa) so to speak usurped power when the deceased president of ours was still in the mortuary is the same manner he has just done it again.”
Party vice president, Obert Gutu, immediately took to Twitter to vent out his frustration.
He tweeted: “In spite of the intimidation and threats of violence by the so-called Vanguard, MDC-T cadres were brave enough to come to the Harare showgrounds, Nelson Mandela Hall, for the launch of BEST on Saturday, May 19, 2018”.
Chamisa’s party has hit back, saying Khupe should accept the reality that she has no grassroots support.
“They insist that they have people on the ground when we have been trying to make them see that it’s only a mirage, they have no support in the country and they will endure more humiliation elsewhere because what happened in Harare is the true reflection of the national picture,” MDC national spokesperson, Thabitha Khumalo, said, adding that party supporters only knew “one leader who is… Chamisa”.
Khupe’s spokesperson Witness Dube refused to comment on suggestions that the party had no support referring questions to Linda Masarira.
Masarira was not taking calls on her mobile phone.
Khupe broke ranks with the mainstream MDC in February following the death of the party’s founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
She protested Chamisa’s rise to the party’s presidency, which she argued was unconstitutional.
Khupe went on to hold an extraordinary congress in the second city where she was unanimously voted president of a breakaway party.
Following Gutu’s tweets, his remarks attracted brickbats from critics on twitter with Tinaye Edwell suggesting Gutu was smoking dangerous drugs.
“Cannabis yakanzi tirime zviripamutemo tichiputa futi here zviya? Hurumende yavaED ngaijekese (Did the government legalise cannabis smoking by the way?
“Government must clarify) I’m seeing signs of smokers here! @GutuObert I want to vote for you and @DrThoko_Khupe but where are we heading sir with this struggle?
Chamisa seems to be ahead of Us!” DailyNews