By Stanford Madombwe in Kwekwe
THERE are fears that the main opposition MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa could be walking into a political booby trap after its national chairperson Thabitha Khumalo yesterday ruled out name change until after the 2023 elections.
Khumalo told journalists in Kwekwe that the issue of the party’s name was dealt with at the Gweru congress of May 2019 and will only come up for discussion at the next congress which comes in 2024, a year after the next general elections.
“On the name change what will be the reason to do so as the Alliance was a congress resolution,” said Khumalo.
This has generated fear that Chamisa could be ambused by the rival MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora and barred by the courts from using the MDC Alliance name at the eleventh hour, scuttling Chamisa’s chances in the 2023 elections.
“Instead preparations for the 2023 are on going under the MDC Alliance name and under Covid rules which are selectively applied by Zanu PF. As there is no landscape to talk about as Zanu-PF is clogging every space to no avail,” she said.
In so doing, Khumalo reiterated the point raised by the party’s Secretary-General Chalton Hwende in May last year, when he said the next congress is in 2024 and all assets of the party, including the MDC Alliance name, were safe from the Mwonzora camp.
Hwende said the party’s headquarters, funds and elected officials are solidly under Chamisa’s control. However, the Chamisa camp went on to lose the symbolic headquarters building, the party vehicles, bank accounts and elected officials to the Mwonzora camp.
Even party officials are jumping ship to join the Mwonzora camp while others are defecting to Zanu-PF, citing insincere leadership and incessant infighting.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere also last week said people must just know they will vote for Chamisa, and stop worrying about the party’s name as that would be resolved “at the appropriate time”.
Mwonzora’s party warned last week that politicians who continued abusing the MDC Alliance name would have themselves to blame, in threats directed at the Nelson Chamisa camp.
Meanwhile, Khumalo has said contrary to Passion Java saying Chamisa was politically bankrupt, MDC Alliance leader has strategies to defeat from Zanu PF.
“Our leader president Nelson Chamisa has the strategies to win in 2023, but you know that strategies are not for public consumption.
Khumalo added that the much talked-about power struggles between Chamisa and his deputy Tendai Biti were a “fictitious creation of a desperate Zanu-PF regime”.
“In the MDC Alliance led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa, if we have disputes in we do not carry out the hearings in the public media as we have channels to do the same as enshrined in our Party Constitution.
“All these stories about factionalism in our Party are sleeping pills for the powers that be that are failing to halt Zimbabwe which is going nowhere slowly,” Khumalo said. □