By BLESSED MHLANGA
The fissures emerging from within the rank and file of the ruling Zanu PF party have grabbed the attention of MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who is looking to capitalise on the internal fights to upstage President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chamisa, who has refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s presidency, said his party was eagerly following the challenges in Zanu PF and the internal fights which saw Mnangagwa calling on the Zanu PF youth league to flush out remnants of the G40 faction in his party.
“We are watching what is happening. We are very clear about the developments. We also know in Zanu PF, there are developments there. We are closely watching. Action is coming, but action will only come when we have done what has to be done. You may think that we are not doing anything; we are pulling all our strength to make sure that we tighten all the screws so that when we do what has to be done, there will not be any problem,” Chamisa said in a video he recorded live on Facebook.
The MDC, which has been struggling to make inroads into rural Zimbabwe, said it was activating a plan which would help them field 210 parliamentary candidates and councillors in all wards in the next general election so that they match and beat Zanu PF.
“We are already preparing for our candidates where we don’t have a seating MP, particularly in the rural areas. We want to make sure that we go big on the rural strategy; we go big on rural elections. I know you have been wondering what’s happening on the issue of by-elections, we know what we are doing. We are studying, assessing our weak points, our strong points, where our competitors are manipulating our parents in the rural areas, so that we deal with it and are able to move forward,” Chamisa added.
The opposition leader said this week he would be presenting a Hope of The Nation Address, in which he will outline the path which the MDC wants the country to take in the face of an economic meltdown.
“We are very clear about what has to be done. I know the suffering that is out there. I have been without electricity myself here for almost 16 hours and I can tell you that I am retreating to my village because it’s better there,” Chamisa said.
“We are going to be delivering the Hope of The Nation Address. It’s going to deal with a lot of issues; our perspectives, economically, politically and socially, our thoughts and the way forward in our view and what has to be done for this country.”
Chamisa said he was working towards building a stronger party with a branch denoted by every polling station in the country.
“We are in the process of working on a number of activities to strengthen our party. We are now moving from being a top-heavy party to being a grassroots-driven party that has lower structures,” he said.
“That’s what we are already working on to make sure we strengthen our branches, so every polling station is going to have branch structures. We are trying to work on our election preparedness, targeting our first time voters. We want to capture young people so that they take us forward.”
Mnangagwa has been battling to ensure a united Zanu PF since he came to power following a coup in November 2017 amid fears that some parliamentarians were out to impeach him with the help of MDC legislators.
Addressing a youth league meeting last Thursday, Mnangagwa said he was aware of the seemingly vanquished G40 elements in the party and they needed to be flushed out.
“I, however, commend those who have remained loyal and faithful to the party and its leadership, especially these moments of manifestations by those we perceive to be one of us. I encourage you all to continue to work hard for the good of the party and guard against the whims of the enemies of our party. We still have elements of the G40 participating among us as wolves in sheep’s clothing these must be flushed out, not only in the youth league, but also within the rank and file of the party in general,” said Mnangagwa in a speech that has excited Chamisa. NewsDay