Plot to destroy Chamisa party

HARARE - Nelson Chamisa’s MDC party has an uphill task between now and the next polls in 2023 to navigate strong legal and political headwinds blowing in its direction, in what appears to be a systematic attempt by its rivals to sink the party.

Before the ink has even dried on a Constitutional Court (Con-Court) ruling that collapsed the party’s hopes of forming an alternative government, Chamisa’s party now finds itself fighting for survival.

The Daily News can report that the MDC is groaning under the weight of costly legal suits and an on-going crackdown targeting its strategists and top officials.

For instance, as a consequent of losing its Con-Court challenge, Zanu PF’s legal team intends to present a staggering $3 million bill for costs incurred in fighting Chamisa’s application, which unsuccessfully sought to reverse President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wafer-thin win at the July 30 polls.

Chamisa’s erstwhile colleagues in the MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe are also banging war drums, signalling their intention to take him to court to assert their rights as the legitimate MDC.

Khupe’s party has drawn first blood by demanding a share of the $1,8 million disbursed to Chamisa’s party under the Political Parties Finance Act.

To add salt to injury, 17 former MDC workers who were chucked out of the party in 2014 following the ugly fallout between Tendai Biti — the party’s former secretary-general — and the late Morgan Tsvangirai, are gunning for the party’s assets to recover their dues.

A former director of the MDC, Toendepi Shonhe, has already moved to attach property at the party’s Harvest House headquarters, renamed Morgan Tsvangirai House, over a
$264 000 debt.

Shonhe is among the 17 ex-MDC employees who won their case in the Labour Court and want the judgment to be enforced.

Chamisa claimed yesterday that there was a “devious” plot by Zanu PF and its proxies to collapse the MDC.

“We are aware they want to close the MDC within the next six months using dirty tactics. Yes, we have heard of lawsuits and costs on the Con-Court case, but nothing official has come,” said Chamisa, speaking thorough his spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda.

“We, however, know that there is a broader strategy to squeeze the MDC and kill it. Unfortunately, there are underestimating president ... Chamisa — that is what they did during the elections and lost”.

Zanu PF’s secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said they have no intention to annihilate the MDC, which is barely surviving due to an economic crunch that has decimated its potential sources of funding.

Mangwana said the Judiciary, as an independent arm of the State, will pronounce itself when the time comes.

Said Mangwana: “The intention is not to destroy the MDC: Chamisa is a lawyer (and) he should know the normal process of a legal challenge. We will submit our costs to the court and the courts will make its determination; he should not panic”.

Khupe’s deputy, Obert Gutu, said the $1,8 million disbursed to Chamisa belonged to them since they were the legitimate party.

“We are consulting with our lawyers; we want everything because we are the legitimate MDC,” said Gutu, declining claims by Chamisa’s party that there were trying to punish their former comrades for the fallout that followed Tsvangirai’s death in February this year.

Analysts canvassed by the Daily News yesterday said judging from Zanu PF’s history of vindictiveness, the crackdown on the MDC’s officials and the string of lawsuits could be hell-bent on punishing Chamisa for refusing to accept Mnangagwa’s rule.

Maxwell Saungweme, a political analyst, said the legal suits could be political tactics to pummel Chamisa into capitulation, and acquiesce to Mnangagwa’s overtures for working together.

“The timing of these awards and attachment of the party’s properties is curious. You can’t rule out the invisible hand of the regime in this. We know from our history that Zanu PF can do anything, including manipulating judiciary processes to whip their adversary into submission or weaken its resolve,” said Saungweme.

“…The suits from ex-MDC staff and that from Khupe are also enough to cause sleepless nights for Chamisa and his ability to move his outfit forward. These are political diversionary strategies dressed in a veneer of legality meant to derail efforts of a 40-year-old who garnered over two million votes and whose bid to State House was stolen through the use of captured institutions,” he added.

Namibian based scholar Admire Mare said it was within Zanu PF’s DNA to use any means possible to destroy its rivals just as was the attempt to destroy Zapu in the 1980s.

“It is very likely that a number of legal and extra-legal measures will be used to cripple and infiltrate the MDC Alliance. Court legal fees are just one of the many options at the hands of the regime. As for the impact on legal bills on the MDC Alliance, it may affect them in the short to medium-term but in the long run well-wishers and crowd-funding strategies will come to their rescue,” he said.

Mare said the Khupe-led MDC-T might not be in bed with Zanu PF but they were strategically positioning themselves for the spoils and stratagems.

“Remember our politics is based on the notion of winner takes all so whoever wins controls who gets what, when and how. That is why we are seeing opportunistic elements within the ruling party and opposition reaching out to the winners so that they can have access to the levers of the State and its accompanying resources,” said Mare.

But professor of World Politics at the London School of African and Oriental Studies Stephen Chan disagreed, saying the problems for Chamisa were just about to begin and have nothing to do with Zanu PF.

Chan said Zanu PF does not need to play any active role in the problems of the MDC because the rush to secure leadership in the days leading up to and after the death of Tsvangirai meant that disposition of funds and property, the rights of employees and a host of administrative matters were never resolved.

“Former partners in the MDC became very bitter with one another. There will also be other challenges of a political nature to do with leadership in the MDC Alliance,” said Chan.

Comments (12)

the boy is a dictator fullstop thus it is better to keep zanu in power than bring an obvious new dictator knowingly

mukhovhe wa tshilidzi - 29 August 2018

It is people like Maxwell Saungweme and Mare who mislead the MDC Alliance by their unsubstantiated claims. I do not these two people's ages, but if they are over 45, then they are misleading their young brother Chamisa by telling him things he wants to hear. If they are of Chamisa's age, I can understand that they are still equally young in politics. In politics, there are no silk boxing gloves! Chamisa did himselfe a disservice by relying on his fellow youngsters like this Dr Sibanda and lawyer Thabani Mpofu at the expense of opposition politics veterans. Why should either the MDC T (Khupe) and Zanu Pf be lenient with Chamisa after all the humiliation he caused them!?

Mhofu Chaiyo - 29 August 2018

One party state loading...Zanu doesnt want competition, it's a centrist party that wants a chinese style of government without the title of being called a communist party.

Galore - 29 August 2018

If ZANU PF changes the constitution to say a Zim President should be at least 60 years old, how will Chamisa react? Hand over MDCA to his seniors like Mudzuri & Khupe?

B. Maricho - 29 August 2018

It is the nature of politics to jostle for "political space and political muscle" as long as it is done in proper civil manner. Jostling for space by labeling an opponent "hure, tokoloshi" is way below the behaviour and norms expected of "mature" people. Iye zvino maakuti mavara adindingwe azara mavhu nokuti ndiro rokwevewa. Learn to respect others and you will get their respect in return!!

Will Blackman - 29 August 2018

Arumwa nechekuchera

Pfeee Mazinyo.Com - 29 August 2018

I am amazed by some of the comments appearing in the media. Politics is not a welfare venture to the opposition or to a ruling party. You look for opportunities to outwit the other. If you are taken to court and you are awarded your costs, what do you do do? Refuse when you have incured costs. Very unintelligent. Pointing fingers is a childish games guys.

senior - 30 August 2018

Ndozvakaita kuti MDC Alliance irohwe pama elections izvozvo zvekuona ma shadows pasina. Do u mean to tell us that if the tables had been turned and MDC had won the court case and awarded costs it was going to refuse for fear of sinking Zanu PF???? Kana wateya mbeva murutsva chirega kutya kusviba magaro Chamisa. There is no sinister plot apa. Handiti MDC ndiyo inochemera rule of law? Heyoka rule of law. Your problem is munongoda zvinonakira imi chete. Go on, face the music. Ndidzo politics dzacho vaChamisa we. Munoti pazvainzi its a dirty game maiti mahumbwe??? Its not for the faint hearted mhanduwe. Ichooo

Komugagondidii - 30 August 2018

Most anti Chamisa commentetors are flooding this site following the rigged elections. Chamisa is fighting an oppressive regime with a poisoned judiciary that can even demend evidence to show that Zimbabweans are hungry , and jobless before helping them on partisan lines. Shame on you Zanu PF. You have been rigging elections but at no point did you manage to rig the economy. Go Chamisa Go

DZIMBABWE - 30 August 2018

Zanu is always like that. A fter riigging elections they always move to try and split and silence critics and opposition. But this time they are lost. People of Zimbabwe want change, whether Zanu is opposed to it or not. We are tired of participating in rigged polls.

Mukepekepe - 30 August 2018

which party are we talking abt here as far as i know CHAMISA does not have a party coz that one is an alliance of parties . actually he is trying to form a party .Thes kidznet are so so confused ,the international community laugh at you with yo educated confusion ...

S.R.K - 30 August 2018

I feel sorry for young Chamisa. Hh has such potential, but in politics, that alone is not enough. Take notes from such as Simba Makoni, the Ex VP, Joyce Teurayiropa Mujuru et al. In politics, opponents are always destroyed, unless they can create for themselves, a safety haven. It does not matter whether or not the perceive opponents are intra or ultra party. Elimination of opponents is the by word in politics. So yes Chamisa, you are in a sorry situation, but only you can save yourself or you will sink into oblivion. In your own Alliance structures, remember vulture are angling too.

Taka Chitoro - 31 August 2018

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.