By Robert Tapfumaneyi
A group of disgruntled opposition MDC activists, calling itself, In Defense of Morgan Tsvangirai Legacy (IDMTL), has demanded that returning party rebels like Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube, be barred from contesting at the upcoming national congress.
The pressure group has described Ncube and Biti both former secretary generals of the MDC as ‘traitors’.
Ncube broke ranks with Tsvangirai in October 2005 after disagreements over participation in senatorial elections. Biti followed suit in 2014, demanding that Tsvangirai resigns following the MDC’s humiliation in the 2013 general elections, won with a crushing two thirds majority by Zanu PF and then President Robert Mugabe.
The pressure group’s leader former Makoni West MP, Webber Chinyadza did not hold back accusing party leader Nelson Chamisa of a sinister plot to sink the MDC.
“His (Nelson Chamisa)’s co-option of party renegades in the names of Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube and his integration of the Zanu PF’s G40 is part of a grand plan to destroy the MDC once and for all.
“He wants to destroy the momentum that Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai had painstakingly put together as a formidable party,” Chinyadza said.
G40 is the moniker by which a faction of Zanu PF reportedly backed by Mugabe went by, before the November 2017 military coup.
But MDC national spokesperson Jacob Mafume dismissed the IDMTL as a kindergarten class.
“The parties have integrated, everybody is a full-fledged member of the MDC, so you are an MDC member, period. You no longer belong to your previous party,” Mafume told newzimbabwe.com.
Chinyadza and his group could not be drawn into identifying their preferred leader ahead of the MDC congress set for May 24.
Added Chinyadza: “These agents have sown confusion and destruction at the very core of the MDC. A party that was the only hope for redemption for the masses of this country.
“Currently the diehard supporters of this opposition party are being removed from the party structures with the objective of weakening the MDC.”
He said the current congress processes have been characterised by “violence, tyranny, autocracy, dictatorship and lack of constitutionalism.”
Mafume said all those that have been integrated and are contesting fit, the congress template or had to get a special waiver.
“All you have to do is to fit the requirements of the template and where a waiver is required, you then apply for one.
“Now everybody is an MDC member. The constitution of the MDC applies, all rules governing the party processes through the national council and the various bodies that have the mandate to make those rules,” the Harare councillor said.
Commenting on former ruling party faction G40 members who have crossed the divide to the opposition, Mafume said the MDC does not discriminate against groups or individuals intending to join the democratic struggle.
“What we know is people come to the MDC as individuals, once you have been accepted you become a member.
“Our party is not changed by the colour of the individuals coming into the party. It has set rules, set ideology and a way of operating that actually changes people,” Mafume added.
“That’s why it is called Movement for Democratic Change, it changes those who were in Zanu PF and the apolitical to become MDC members and we celebrate that.”