NEW MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa cannot talk about democracy and constitutionalism after “illegally” grabbing power in the opposition party, war veterans’ leader Victor Matemadanda has said.
Addressing liberation war fighters in Mutare last week, Matemadanda, who is also a member of the ruling Zanu PF party’s politburo, said the MDC-T had been hijacked by power hungry young turks who lacked the vision of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai recently succumbed to a long battle against colon a cancer. He was promptly replaced as party leader by Chamisa in a controversial process that is bitterly contested by rivals Thokhozani Khuphe and Elias Mudzuri.
Khuphe maintains that Chamisa’s power grab was illegal. She was roughed up by her rival’s supporters during Tsvangirai’s burial in Buhera last week.
Khuphe was chosen as vice president at the MDC-T last congress while Chamisa and Mudzuri were appointed by Tsvangirai.
“They are leaving Thokozani Khuphe who elected on the congress,” said Matemadanda.
“What is happening is unconstitutional. Before they talk of democracy to us they need to do a self-introspection. They are no longer qualified to talk about that without Tsvangirai.
“Khuphe is the leader at law and they know they must respect democracy.”
The former deputy prime minister and party secretary general Douglas Mwonzora were attacked during Tsvangirai’s burial in an incident that was widely condemned, including by foreign embassies.
Matemadanda said it was unacceptable for MDC-T youths to disparage Khuphe as a “dissident”.
“We will ask those in Matabeleland North, where we are going to address (war veterans), how they feel when one of their own is labelled a dissident.
“That’s why we said it is called Movement for Destructive Change,” said Matemadanda.
He urged war veterans to mobilise people in their respective districts to vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa in general elections due later this year.