Farayi Machamire 29 April 2018
HARARE – Freed after two years in prison, Yvonne Musarurwa gives orders to
district officers who had converged at Gutu and Chikowere law firm – the
defacto Harare Headquarters for Thokozani Khupe’s break-away MDC
As the recently elected organising secretary it’s her duty to recruit
members, rally support, impart the party ideology and coordinate party
It’s by no means an easy task for Musarurwa who on an afternoon like this,
three months ago, was cleaning toilets and showers at Chikurubi Female
The only recruitment she could have done was perhaps encourage a
non-voting constituency of inmates to join opposition politics.
It is far from the task she has now of invigorating a splinter group which
is already perceived as an enemy among opposition ranks.
But for Musarurwa who was serving a 20-year jail term for the murder of
police inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View in 2011 before being plucked
out of the fire by a presidential amnesty, Khupe is not only the real deal
but the legitimate leader of the MDC.
She admits her decision to dump the Nelson Chamisa-led faction has brought
her scorn but is adamant she made the right move and in time Zimbabweans
will appreciate her for it.
“I am in over a dozen of WhatsApp groups and on various social media
platforms, everywhere I turn zvirikunzi Yvonne ihu**, he akatengwa ne
Zanu PF but my brother I am not the first convict to be given amnesty,”
She points to a headline in the reader’s section of a local newspaper
paper which screamed Yvonne needs prayers.
“You know it’s not everyone who is accusing me of doing the wrong thing,”
she says. “There are some who appreciate what I have done and some who
care enough to ask me and I have always taken time to explain to them,
that I follow what the party’s constitution says.
“We are not fighting Chamisa, what we are doing is for the people of
Zimbabwe. I have not done anything wrong; I have only followed what is in
the constitution of the MDC which stipulates that the party’s leader is
elected through Congress.”
Musarurwa had backed Chamisa upon her release from prison and openly
chanted “Chamisa Chete Chete” during an MDC Alliance rally.
“When I came out of prison, I knew very little of what was happening in
the party,” she says of that episode.
“I assumed that things were as I left them except for the unfortunate
death of Save. When I heard about the death of Save while I was in jail, I
can say that was the saddest day of my political life because our
relationship was that of father and daughter.”
Musarurwa said she had not deviated from the MDC principles saying
Tsvangirai would have wanted to see the opposition follow its own
constitution in choosing his successor.
It’s a thin line and argument which has been raging in the MDC with
Chamisa insisting he is the legitimate chosen through the party’s national
The fight for control of the MDC has also seen Chamisa’s faction
dismissing Khupe’s congress, claiming it had only less than one percent of
the bona fide party structures.
They claim Chamisa has the energy and charisma to steer the MDC ship into
Musarurwa disagrees and insists Khupe has the experience and maturity to
win the forthcoming election.
It is not clear, though, if Zimbabwe is ready for a female president.