Warring Zimbabwe main opposition factions calls for mediation

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MDC top politician and senator, Elias Mudzuri has called on church leaders, traditional chiefs, business executives, among some prominent figures within society, to help bring together the party’s feuding factions before their fights could cause irreparable damage to the main opposition.

The MDC leadership dispute ruptured recently following a Supreme Court ruling which placed the stewardship of the main opposition in the hands of ex-vice president Thokozani Khupe.

Reinstated MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has lost no time in recalling from parliament, four MDC Alliance MPs with threats to expel more.

The row that has centred on disputed party leader Nelson Chamisa and Mwonzora, who is siding with Khupe, has caused anxiety among party legislators who are at a loss on which faction to side with.

A more bruising fight is expected ahead when the country’s lockdown measures ease and when parliament reconvenes.

However, Mudzuri, a marked figure once linked to the MDC’s presidency and now associated with the Khupe group, has chosen to see reason, with a call for the factions to bury their differences in the interest of the 20-year-old party.

The former Harare mayor said it was awkward for some party leaders to find Zanu PF an easier rival to engage in conversations with than allies in their midst.

“…Let’s talk to each other, let’s see where you are not happy and also give me a chance to see how I wronged you and also give that person an opportunity to apologise,” Mudzuri told NewZimbabwe.com Saturday.

“We need to talk to each other; we are one family.

“If people are not prepared to sit down and say our house is on fire, let’s put off the fire and if we continue to blame each other, we are not going anywhere.”

Mudzuri said it was no time to exchange accusations on who was at fault but a time to introspect, even going further to examine where the party has failed itself in the past 20 years.

“This is an opportunity for MDC family to come together and say where we went wrong after 20 years of commitment in the party,” he said.

“Church leaders must help us to find each other, chiefs must come in and help us sit and dialogue and any other institutions, even business people must help us.

“I want MDC elders to meet and discuss, tell us what they think should be the way forward because we have a Supreme Court judgement that has to be complied with.”

Mudzuri said instead of party factions stampeding each other on who should be president come congress time, it was best for all to agree as to who within the lot was best to lift the profile of the main opposition going forward.

“…This is not the time to start campaigning, but this is a chance to look at who is our best foot forward as we rebuild the party,” he said.

The politician said the party should keep dialogue as the most viable option while taking steps to comply with the court judgement which ordered the holding of an extra-ordinary congress within three months.

“We have a timetable with the judgement which is something we cannot run away from,” he said, adding, “Let’s meet and dialogue. Whoever believed that Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti will one day come back to the MDC and work with the late Morgan Tsvangirai after their name calling on Tsvangirai that he was worse than Mugabe.

“Leadership is about talking to those people that you even call enemies.

“Let’s stop washing our dirty linen in public. Let’s preserve our home, our institution.

“But the institution must be cleansed of the evil that is perpetuated on the downtrodden people within that institution.

“Let’s stop this idea of throwing brick bats, attacking each other on the internet and social media.”

The MDC leadership fights were ignited when Chamisa railroaded party organs to appoint him interim leader on the news of the passing of Tsvangirai in South Africa 2018.

Khupe, Mudzuri and Mwonzora, among some party presidential hopefuls at the time, were up in arms they were stampeded off the contest through favouritism and violence by Chamisa.