Mugove Tafirenyika 23 May 2018
HARARE – Last weekend’s cancellation of a scheduled rally in Harare by
Thokozani Khupe’s MDC formation could be evidence of the party’s lack of
support, a rival formation led by Nelson Chamisa has alleged.
Khupe’s party had planned to launch its manifesto at the Harare
showgrounds (Nelson Mandela Hall), but the event flopped after its
candidates for the general elections and supporters failed to turn up.
But the faction has laid the blame squarely on Chamisa’s party, which
allegedly intimidated their supporters.
The party’s secretary-general, Nickson Nyikadzino, said the launch had to
be postponed indefinitely so that “we can deal with housekeeping issues in
“The Nelson Chamisa cabal, so to speak, stopped most our members from
coming to this launch by perpetrating political violence in different
constituencies and areas in order to send a wrong signal that we don’t
have people yet we have people,” Nyikadzino said.
“The same way Nero (Chamisa) so to speak usurped power when the deceased
president of ours was still in the mortuary is the same manner he has just
done it again.”
Party vice president, Obert Gutu, immediately took to Twitter to vent out
He tweeted: “In spite of the intimidation and threats of violence by the
so-called Vanguard, MDC-T cadres were brave enough to come to the Harare
showgrounds, Nelson Mandela Hall, for the launch of BEST on Saturday, May
Chamisa’s party has hit back, saying Khupe should accept the reality that
she has no grassroots support.
“They insist that they have people on the ground when we have been trying
to make them see that it’s only a mirage, they have no support in the
country and they will endure more humiliation elsewhere because what
happened in Harare is the true reflection of the national picture,” MDC
national spokesperson, Thabitha Khumalo, said, adding that party
supporters only knew “one leader who is… Chamisa”.
Khupe’s spokesperson Witness Dube refused to comment on suggestions that
the party had no support referring questions to Linda Masarira.
Masarira was not taking calls on her mobile phone.
Khupe broke ranks with the mainstream MDC in February following the death
of the party’s founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
She protested Chamisa’s rise to the party’s presidency, which she argued
Khupe went on to hold an extraordinary congress in the second city where
she was unanimously voted president of a breakaway party.
Following Gutu’s tweets, his remarks attracted brickbats from critics on
twitter with Tinaye Edwell suggesting Gutu was smoking dangerous drugs.
“Cannabis yakanzi tirime zviripamutemo tichiputa futi here zviya?
Hurumende yavaED ngaijekese (Did the government legalise cannabis smoking
by the way?
“Government must clarify) I’m seeing signs of smokers here! @GutuObert I
want to vote for you and @DrThoko_Khupe but where are we heading sir with
Chamisa seems to be ahead of Us!”