from NDABENI MLOTSHWA in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
BULAWAYO – THE spat between factions of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has reignited after the smaller group accused presidential aspirant, Nelson Chamisa, of double standards.
A splinter group led by Thokozani Khupe accused Chamisa of doubting the legitimacy of the country’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, yet the opposition leader himself assumed power through controversial means.
Chamisa became leader of the MDC after the death of longtime opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirayi, in February.
While Khupe and Chamisa were Tsvangirayi’s deputies, alongside, Elias Mudzuri, the female deputy leader was seen as the legitimate successor as she was elected while the other were hand picked.
Violence characterised the subsequent split.
“Chamisa is not a legitimate leader,” said Khupe’s spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni.
“He cannot go and challenge the legitimacy of Mnangagwa yet he himself (Chamisa) is fully aware he is a constitutional delinquent,” Phugeni said.
Chamisa has not acknowledged Mnangagwa following his election on July 30. Elections were held months after Mnangagwa succeeded Robert Mugabe, who was removed in a military coup.
Chamisa, who led the MDC Alliance after his party joined other parties that quit the MDC over the years, filed a court challenge that failed to revoke the election of Mnangagwa.
The rival faction led by Khupe rejected the recent election challenge as greedy for power by Chamisa.
MDC has been the main opposition in Zimbabwe since formation in 1999 but has suffered infighting and splits previously blamed on the alleged dictatorial leadership of Tsvangirayi.
The splits have aided the grip on power by the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
– CAJ News