HARARE – MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Elias Mudzuri have put their differences aside to concentrate on forcing President Emmerson Mnangagwa to address the country’s myriad of challenges, a top opposition official has said.
There have been serious ructions in the 19-year-old opposition movement amid reports that Chamisa was facing a challenge for the MDC presidency from Mudzuri when the party goes for a potentially explosive congress next year.
Chamisa’s supporters had since drawn their daggers out for Mudzuri after he angered them when he attended a meeting of Parliament leaders with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his State House offices without the MDC’s blessings.
The MDC is on record saying they do not recognise Mnangagwa as the legitimate president of Zimbabwe, alleging he stole the July 30 presidential poll.
Mudzuri is on record saying he attended the State House meeting in his capacity as the leader of the opposition in the Senate although his colleagues in both chambers in the bicameral Parliament snubbed the meeting.
But notwithstanding calls for Mudzuri to be censured, Chamisa’s other deputy Morgen Komichi told the Daily News yesterday that the storm is now over between the two perennial rivals.
“We are happy the squabble in the cockpit that was playing out on social media is behind us after the intervention of the president (Chamisa),” Komichi said.
“We are now all focused on the need to restore the country to legitimacy in the aftermath of a stolen election. We are all pulling in the same direction now thanks to …Chamisa’s wisdom and magnanimity as well as understanding that the so-called disagreements were in the first a creation by Zanu PF to divert attention from the real issues affecting the country,” he said.
While Mudzuri was not immediately available for comment, sources in his camp said the former Harare mayor who has been boycotting MDC meetings after he was publicly humiliated at a public meeting by party supporters was happy with how the tiff has been resolved.
“Going forward the VP will be attending all party meetings because he was assured that he will not be abused again in the future.
“He is a mature leader who will not be swayed from the party’s objectives by the machinations of Zanu PF which include but not limited to driving a wedge among the party’s leadership over congress issues,” an MDC national executive member believed to be sympathetic to Mudzuri said.
Mudzuri, along with Chamisa, were installed VPs just after the 2014 MDC congress through an edict by the now late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Following his meeting with Mnangagwa, furious fellow MDC MPs among them Charlton Hwende and Murisi Zwizwai angrily confronted Mudzuri at a local hotel in the capital over the issue.
Mudzuri was also forced to leave an MDC demonstration gathering at Africa Unity Square, in Harare in a huff after being booed off stage by party supporters.
He had to abort his address, as tempers flared over his meeting with Mnangagwa.
In the end, and very ominously for him, he failed to even chant the party’s slogans, as his voice was drowned out by the heckling from the rowdy crowd — which broke into a derogatory song “tengesa uone mashura” (just sell out and see what will happen).
As a result, an emotional Mudzuri had to leave the venue altogether.
Chamisa and Mudzuri crossed paths after the youthful MDC leader rose to the party’s presidency in controversial fashion early this year following the death of the party’s founding father, Tsvangirai.
His dramatic ascent was at the expense of Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe, his two rivals who were both claiming to be the rightful heirs to the throne.
While Khupe packed her bags and went on to form her own MDC-T party, Mudzuri soldiered on and is now one among three vice presidents in the MDC.
Recently, the MDC convened meetings of its three top organs, the standing committee, the executive committee and the national council, where agitation for Mudzuri’s ouster reached fever pitch.
Mudzuri’s rivals were pushing the MDC national council, which has the power to demand that the Harvard-trained engineer step down, take action against the man also girding his loins to challenge Chamisa in the 2019 congress.
The motion to de-stool Mudzuri was reportedly raised by Masvingo province but Chamisa rescued his beleaguered deputy after reportedly telling his party’s national council that it would be unfair to discuss the VP’s case while he was absent.