THE fractured MDC-T has been plunged into fresh turmoil with deputy presidents Mr Nelson Chamisa and Ms Thokozani Khupe said to be strongly opposed to having floundering National People’s Party leader Dr Joice Mujuru as deputy leader of a touted opposition coalition.
Party insiders told our Harare Bureau that while Mr Chamisa and Ms Khupe were not against the idea of a coalition, they did not want Dr Mujuru to deputise MDC-T leader Mr Morgan. MDC-T already has three vice-presidents in Mr Chamisa and Ms Khupe deputising Mr Tsvangirai alongside Engineer Elias Mudzuri.
“The fight is about safeguarding positions because if Mujuru becomes the vice-president, what then will happen to Chamisa, Khupe and Mudzuri? This explains why Chamisa doesn’t want Mujuru as vice-president. It’s all about personal interests,” said an MDC-T insider.
Mr Chamisa, according to other sources, was saying Dr Mujuru did not have a support base sufficient to warrant a leading role in any coalition.
“Chamisa argues that it’s not necessary to have Mujuru as vice-president because she doesn’t have a constituency. His argument is what has Mujuru achieved ever since she was booted out of Zanu-PF? Mujuru’s party has already split, meaning she is joining hands with Tsvangirai as a weak partner. Chamisa is also pointing out that Mujuru is not a tried and tested opposition politician but is just seeking political power. Chamisa was not really in good books with Khupe, but he is reaching out so that they fight in one corner. Tsvangirai’s argument is that Mujuru has pockets of supporters in the Mashonaland provinces where MDC-T has been faring badly in elections. So, he sees Mujuru as an asset while Chamisa takes her as a liability.”
Yesterday, Mr Chamisa tried to downplay the matter, saying: “How can I conclude that Mujuru has no constituency yet she hasn’t even held her party’s congress? That is certainly not true. Convergence is part of our DNA as a party. We believe in not just a coalition in a narrow sense, but a broader convergence of forces and faces, a convergence of ideas, a convergence of people’s ideas, a convergence of people’s issues and a convergence of strategies and tactics. The coalition is the end product of a process of convergence.”
In April, MDC-T and NPP signed a memorandum of understanding to join hands ahead of the 2018 national elections.
The proposal is already facing hurdles with senior NPP officials describing Mr Tsvangirai as a spent force incapable of leadership. NPP vice-president Mr Samuel Sipepa Nkomo last week said Dr Mujuru should lead the proposed coalition.