THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC is heading into a potentially explosive standing committee meeting today following the embarrassing and hostile reception deputy president Elias Mudzuri received at last week’s march, after his attendance of Parliamentary business at State House recently, with some sections of the party calling for disciplinary action against him.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Mudzuri, leader of the opposition in Senate, was the only opposition member who attended the presiding officers’ function at State House. Since then, his detractors within the main opposition have been on his case, hurling insults and labelling him an enemy of the party.
However, Mudzuri maintained his cool, but last Thursday he got a rude awakening when party supporters booed him off stage at Africa Unity Square before the commencement of the street protest.
According to sources, some party leaders are planning to institute disciplinary action and would want the standing committee to kick start the process. Others are reportedly of the view that Mudzuri has suffered enough and the party must not major on sideshows.
However, party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the Mudzuri issue is not on the agenda, but economic and political issues will take centre stage. He said the issue will only be discussed if it has an effect on the broader economic programme.
“The standing committee meets every week and it has a set agenda that deals with the crippling political and economic crisis in the country,” Mafume said.
“We are dealing with that and any other issue that might arise and unrelated to the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe and the wellbeing of the party will have to be justified in the context of what is happening in the nation.”
Youth assembly secretary-general Lovemore Chinoputsa yesterday insisted that Mudzuri must be brought to book.
He said even the hostile reception is the public’s disapproval of him and the party must not be seen to be doing nothing.
“The formal processes must be instituted to really find out what happened and why he did that, going to the State House against the advice given by the parliamentary caucus,” Chinoputsa said.
“The hostile reception that he received at the demonstration just shows that if you move against what the people want, siding with [President Emmerson] Mnangagwa and Zanu PF who are not popular with the people, any interaction with them will create problems.
“It only vindicates our position that he has erred and needs to be dealt with. In any case, the owners of the party, which is the people, have already shown that they don’t approve of what he did.”
Other standing committee members who spoke on condition of anonymity said the matter should be resolved for the party to move forward.
“Look, the cold war that we are seeing is not even fruitful. We need a situation whereby we open the discussion; we deliberate and have a way forward.
“This thing of saying we need to finish one another through character assassination and so forth does not work. It is really bad, if the party is going to suspend him, then let it be so and we move forward,” said a senior party member.
Party chairperson Thabitha Khumalo said she was not aware of what happened as she was outside the country. Mudzuri was not picking calls.