Movement for Democratic Change secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has been blasted for telling a Sunday paper yesterday that founding president Morgan Tsvangirai must be turning in his grave because of the toxic politics obtaining in the party.
Tsvangirai died in February last year and was replaced by Nelson Chamisa in controversial circumstances and there is division within the party on whether Chamisa is not flouting the party constitution as he was supposed to be leader for only a year.
Chamisa and the council he leads have called for a party congress in May but there are reports that his supporters are intimidating potential challengers.
“I know Tsvangirai hated the vitriol which some party members direct at each other. He won’t be too pleased to learn, even where he is, that there are party members who are using hate language against other party members. Tsvangirai wanted a united, democratic party that always looks to and pays attention to its glorious founding values,” Mwonzora told the Daily News on Sunday.
“The preparations for congress were going on well. However, we have now received reports of violence, intimidation and discrimination on the basis of people who supported me in 2014. We have had to deal with congress-related suspensions and expulsions at lower structures. If all these things are true, then it is wrong, unfair, anachronistic to the party and therefore totally unacceptable. I hope the organising, elections and chairpersons’ departments bring the reports on these issues to our next Standing Committee meeting.”
MDC spokesman Jacob Mafume, however, dismissed Mwonzora’s claims advising him that “when you intend to look into the graves of our icons, make sure you stand in the right cemetery”.
Mafume said congress proceedings were going on well.
“We promised Zimbabweans that the MDC congress will be a festival of democracy and ideas – that will not change. The MDC will not at any point criminalise open contest, neither will the party use unconfirmed reports to characterise the ongoing processes. All senior leaders are expected to inspire tolerance not incite hate including in the media,” he said.
“If anyone wants to look into the graves of our past leaders, they must make sure they are standing on the right cemetery.”
Below is the full text of the MDC statement:
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