ANOTHER breakup is projected for the troubled Zimbabwean official opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
This follows a Supreme Court ruling ousting Nelson Chamisa as party president, as well as escalating revelations the organisation has been infiltrated by members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).
The opposition party has been beset by divisions, with Chamisa’s allies adamant he remains the leader, while those that advocated for him to vacate the post have appeared to gain the upper hand after the courts ruled Dr Thokozani Khupe was the rightful successor to the late Morgan Tsvangirai, who died from colon cancer in South Africa in 2018.
South African-based economist and political commentator, Luke Zunga, said, “This is a political game. We might see rifts, breakups and disqualification of MPs (members of parliament).”
Zunga had earlier urged Chamisa to “swallow his pride” and abide by a 2019 High Court ruling that also ruled the latter was illegitimately head of the mainstream MDC.
“The party received this Diaspora advise but chose to ignore. As a result, the party has been disgraced by the courts. Chamisa decided to command himself into doom. The rest of the party leadership who participated with him must be blamed too.”
Zunga also said the other twist was the infiltration of the MDC by intelligence operatives (Central Intelligence Organisation).
“In the Diaspora, there is hardly any area where the intelligence of Zanu-PF and the government is not present. At least two intelligence operatives are sitting in the Provincial structure of MDC South Africa,” Zunga disclosed.
MDC has been accused of ignoring its structures based outside Zimbabwe in the wake of factionalism.
“The party leadership comes to South Africa and overseas but does not spare time to talk to Diaspora community leaders, outside party structures,” Zunga said.
MDC has suffered a number of splits since formation in 1999.
The party split following the 2005 Senate election, with the main faction headed by Tsvangirai and the other headed by Arthur Mutambara.
The main group split further in 2014 over months of in-fighting following Tsvangirai’s 2013 presidential bid.