BY XOLISANI NCUBE
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday cracked the whip, ordering an immediate stop to the culture of intimidation and endorsements ahead of the opposition party’s elective congress in May.
Addressing journalists after a national standing committee meeting at Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House (formerly Harvest House) in Harare, Chamisa said the culture of intimidating other party leaders vying for senior posts should end.
He also said his party does not allow endorsements and ruled out of order, Harare province youth assembly which declared war on those wishing to challenge his presidency.
“We must understand that as we go to congress, tensions are likely to run high, it’s gonna be choppy, tough and exciting. Leaders are encouraged to exercise patience. We must not exchange blows in an undemocratic manner. We have also said as leadership, we are not going to accept those declarations typical of Zanu PF. We are not Zanu PF, we don’t have declarations, we have nominations and they would be announced,” Chamisa said.
Party secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has been touted as one of Chamisa’s possible contestants. Chamisa took over the position following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year.
“We appreciate individual opinions, we appreciate assemblies having their own opinion, but we don’t want those opinions to be the basis of intimidating others who can be weakened. We want to make sure that democracy is there for all of us,” he said.
For his alleged decision to challenge Chamisa at the forth-coming congress, Mwonzora has been branded a Zanu PF agent.
But yesterday, according to Chamisa, the party resolved to stop name-calling and said State agents attempting to divide the opposition were bound to fail.
Chamisa said the standing committee discussed the template to be used at the congress as well as timeframes for congresses of lower structures.
The MDC said the forthcoming congress would strengthen the party and vowed that the party would never split.
“The MDC is not capable of splitting, yes, leaders will always join and unjoin, but it doesn’t mean that the party will split. Yes, it will exfoliate, peeling out the outer layer for renewal purposes because the people can’t split. It is a people’s project,” Chamisa said.
He added that the standing committee also discussed the state of the economy and how Zanu PF had failed to tackle the current economic crisis.
“Let us understand the nature of the crisis we are facing, let us understand the things that have to be resolved. Because people seem to be forgetting the national question, the national dilemma, is an issue of a disputed election on July 30 2018,” the MDC leader said.
Chamisa said the party was under siege from Zanu PF, which he said had re-launched the politics of yesteryear, the politics of attacking the opposition and closure of divergent views.