Chamisa’s Silence Strategic Despite Attempts To Crush MDC – Jonathan Moyo

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By Costa Nkomo

FORMER Zanu PF Politburo member and Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo has described as strategic, the continued silence maintained by MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa despite facing determined attacks from different fronts against him and party.

Since the Supreme Court in March last year stripped him of his right to be heir to the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died in 2018, Chamisa has been at the receiving end, but the opposition leader has remained mostly silent despite a barrage of attacks against him and the party he leads.

However, this has not been welcomed by some party officials and supporters who accuse him of letting them down by not standing up against President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration.

Chamisa’s silence has been commended by Moyo, a former key strategist in Zanu PF but now a rabid critic of the ruling party, after he (Moyo) was forced into exile in 2017.

“Since the dubious 31 March 2020 SC (Supreme Court) judgment on the MDC’s leadership, Mnangagwa has used cronies, recalls, arrests, abductions, torture and defections to destroy the MDC-A,” Moyo, also a political science professor, said.

Scores of MDC Alliance MPs and councillors have been recalled as public officers by the MDC-T for no longer being party members. Among those recalled are senior officials including co-vice president Lynette Karenyi-Kore, secretary general Charlton Hwende and chairperson Thabitha Kumalo.

A number of the MPs and councillors have also crossed the floor and joined the MDC-T to avoid being recalled.

Other senior MDC officials such as co-vice president Tendai Biti, deputy national chairperson Job Sikhala, national party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe, youth activists Netsai Marowa and Cecilia Chimbiri have been arrested on several occasions in the past 12 months on charges the MDC Alliance says are trumped-up.

Their cases are before the courts.

However, Chamisa has not said much on the repeated attacks on his senior party members and activists.

The government has also withdrawn funds from the Political Parties Finance Act the MDC Alliance has been receiving since the 2018 elections, seriously crippling the opposition party’s operations. The MDC-T is now a beneficiary of the funds.

To add to this, the MDC Alliance was last year also forced out of Harvest House, now Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, on grounds the party was not the rightful owner of the building.

In the recent past, senior MDC Alliance and former legislators Tongai Matutu and Lilian Timveous have defected to Zanu PF and have been warmly welcomed by Mnangagwa at State House. Zanu PF claims more top MDC Alliance officials will soon join the ruling party.

However, according to Moyo, Chamisa has chosen to be strategic by saying or doing nothing over the perceived deceits by Zanu PF and the MDC-T.

“By design or default, Chamisa has said and done nothing. That silence is today his strategic advantage!” Moyo said.

He said Mnangagwa had exhausted all his moves to destroy Chamisa’s political life, but the opposition leader has kept most of his decisions “close to his chest” and would soon use his cards to make moves and rise again to the surprise of Zanu PF and the MDC-T.

“Also Mnangagwa has criminally used Covid-19 to cripple the MDC-A. In the process, he has played (all) his cards; as have Thokozani Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora. Meanwhile, Chamisa has kept all his cards close to his chest. He has a Blue Ocean advantage, full of surprises, to hit ‘dem’ hard!

After the Supreme Court ruling in March, Khupe was appointed interim president and ordered to organise an extraordinary congress to elect a new leader. The election was held in December last year, but she was, however, defeated by Mwonzora who is now the new MDC-T president.

However, Khupe has challenged the outcome of the elective congress accusing Mwonzora of vote rigging, violence and abuse of party funds. Mwonzora has since offered a position of first vice president, a post she is yet to accept.