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If that is ‘Charisma’ we don’t want it – Makusha Mugabe on infighting in the MDC-T

By Makusha Mugabe

While we don’t have a brief for Hon Eng Elias Mudzuri or other MDC-T National Standing Committee (NSC) members who did not attend yesterday’s meeting, it is probably not far-fetched to suggest the the wrangle over who is acting President has not been resolved amicably and had something to do with their non-attendance.

Makusha Mugabe
Makusha Mugabe

The announcement from by the NSC that an Extraordinary National Executive and National Council meetings will be held tomorrow may be viewed as positive in that they are deferring to other organs of the party.

But it is still a sad development that as leaders they failed to resolve such a simple matter, leading to this seeming boycott by Eng Mudzuri and a seeming power-grab by Nelson Chamisa.

No matter how much popular support was shown for Chamisa during the two rallies which were held, it is still not the MDC-T way; it is not the democratic way, because this was not a popularity contest about who should be acting President.

It was a simple administrative issue of how and whether the appointment was made, which I would have thought the NSC would be able to resolve, by simply ascertaining who was and who was not properly appointed.

Even if it turned out that President Tsvangirai inadvertently appointed two of them because of illness, they should have been able to resolve it as mature leaders, and move on to deal with important matters of the election.

Now judging from what has gone on, it seems Hon Mudzuri, whom we know was appointed acting President before Tsvangirai went to SA, was invited to the SA workshop along with other principles.

As acting President he had to attend because it is within the President’s portfolio to deal with coalition matters. It was in Mudzuri’s portfolio to attend and hear for himself on behalf of the party what the organisers were preaching.

Chamisa was also also invited as chairman of the MDC Alliance, and had accepted the invitation; his ticket bought and his accommodation arranged; we have no reason not to believe the organisers.

But it seems this is when the idea came to Chamisa, that he will let Mudzuri and Mwonzora board the plane to SA and he remains and declares himself both party and Alliance President, and literally do anything he wants.

But while in SA Mudzuri, who did not know about any other appointment of an acting President, went to see Tsvangirai in hospital, as you do, and, he says, it was confirmed to him that he was still the acting President – leading to the current fiasco.

At the Masvingo rally Chamisa used the occasion to grand-strand and make it a popularity contest with Mudzuri, which it was not – the place for that is the Congress.

Being the gentleman that he is Eng Mudzuri choose not to engage, and subsequently avoided the NSC meeting for the same reason, that he was not up for a public confrontation with Chamisa.

Besides in his mind, and probably others’ who did not attend, the NSC was not properly called by the person with the authority of the presidency, and was therefore illegal.

But by allowing Chamisa to chair the meeting, the NSC also now seems to have tacitly endorsed his acting presidency. And being the power-hungry individual that he is, he said to himself, job done.

And instead of the NSC dealing with this simple administrative issue of finding out whether Chamisa’s claim was genuine or whether Mudzuri’s was genuine – which was as simple as asking Tsvangirai, they have called an NEC and an a National Council. For what?

What new facts are the two organs going to have to make any meaningful decision? Or is it just going to be another politicised and factionalized vote? As we speak the various camps are phoning National Council members, offering lifts, transport money and who-knows-what-else for them to be available tomorrow to vote for their respective positions.

Others have already been made to write letters of support for Chamisa’s acting presidency, at if it was by election. What a failure of leadership this reflects on the part of the MDC-T!

Primitive politics at its worst. I would not be surprised if Mudzuri did not pitch up for the NEC and NC. If I was Mudzuri I also would also not, because this is not the humility that President Tsvangirai taught.

While he supports youth development in the party, I do not believe he would support the naked ambition and scheming, accompanied by a rude social media presence and political violence that has been exhibited here.

The National Standing Committee, chaired by Chamisa was clearly a waste of time if all it resolved was to call an extraordinary National Executive Committee meeting and a National Council meeting to resolve this simple issue.

A well-planned strategy session on the election in light of new developments, like the United States confirming fresh targeted sanctions on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, might have been a better use of resources.

Makusha Mugabe ([email protected]) writing in my personal capacity