. . . bigwigs plot against opposition leader
. . . party loyalists vow to block congress
THE MDC-T is in fresh chaos amid renewed pressure for party leader Douglas Mwonzora to step down for failing to respect the constitution, alleged abuse of funds and hobnobbing with Zanu PF while destroying the once vibrant opposition movement.
Mwonzora is being accused of failing to pronounce a date for congress that is long overdue while appointing cronies to key positions to consolidate his power. Impeccable sources told The NewsHawks that those linked to Mwonzora are pushing for a standing committee meeting to push for the blocking of congress until the party reorganises its structures, a move frowned upon by other senior leaders who are itching for the elective indaba.
According to a congress roadmap crafted by the party, branch congresses were set for 28 and 29 May, followed by district congresses on 30 May. Provincial congresses, including external provinces, were set for June 6-11, while a national council meeting was scheduled for June 17 followed by others processes leading to the July 23-24 congress.
All this has been stalled and the party is blaming Mwonzora and his band of loyalists. MDC-T national chairperson Morgen Komichi said the party was waiting for a proclamation of the congress, but he would not be drawn into commenting on what is causing the delay.
Komichi said the congress was long overdue and the party was waiting for its leader to come up with a date while ruling out this month as initially set.
“It is still not clear now. We are waiting for the president to announce the date,” he said. Party insiders said Mwonzora was not comfortable with congress, amid reports of revolts against him from the provinces.
“His pact with Zanu PF is haunting him. His handling of finances is not transparent and he has failed to finance party projects in the provinces. He attacks opposition other than Zanu PF and people feel he has betrayed the struggle and people no longer want him,” an insider said.
“He attacks Chamisa as a person not adhering to the constitution, but he is doing exactly that,” the source said.
A Mwonzora loyalist confirmed a push for the party to stall the convening of congress, arguing there was need to turn to the structures first before entertaining any talk on the indaba meant to elect new leaders.
Mwonzora is facing internal revolt amid reports that senior party officials were eyeing his post to refresh the dying movement, with names of vice-president Elias Mudzuri, national chairperson Komichi and businessman Norest Marara featuring prominently.
Loyalty has shifted from the former MDC-Alliance secretary-general Mwonzora since the party performed dismally in the 26 March by-elections.
Mwonzora was accused of failing to inspire the party to victory and alienating it from the electorate who take him as an extension of Zanu PF and only meant to decimate other opposition parties.
Those who lost have blamed Mwonzora for failing to lead the party, with Zivai Mhetu, who contested on the party ticket in Epworth, saying the electorate openly spoke against the party leader’s poor leadership. Mhetu has since been fired from the party while Fungai Chiposi, who stood and lost in Kambuzuma, defected to Nelson Chamia’s Citizens’ Coalition for Change.