As the world is grappling with the Corona pandemic, Zimbabwe, an economically bedridden country which was once the bread basket of Africa has its political landscape filled with drama of political power struggles whose episodes even extend into the court galleries.
At the forefront is the battle of leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party which was headed by the late former Premier of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai but was now subject to contention between Nelson Chamisa and ThokozaniKhupe.
Chamisa who claims to be the winner in the country’s last presidential elections under the MDC Alliance ticket is the main challenger to the Mnangagwa led government while Khupeheaded the MDC-T which garnered 45 626 votes in the presidential race which had millions of voters.
With Zimbabwe’s Corona linked shutdown, many businesses were instructed to close with the exception of essential services providers, thus the courts were busy with the matter and later politicians had to brave the pandemic and hold press conferences about the court verdict.
Even though she does not have a strong mainstream political backing from the majority of ordinary card carrying members of the whole MDC movement, Khupe who enjoys a cordial political relationship with the ZANU Pf led government claimed to be the rightful leader and won in the court of Law.
With typical treachery, deception, rebellion and betrayal which is common in most power struggles, the Chamisa led group is faced with a serious test of survival as key elements that have seemingly stood as allies to the youthful leader are proving to be having Khupe’s back.
Some politically active Professors like Welshman Ncube and Jonathan Moyo have stood on Chamisa’s side in this struggleand labelled the court decision as a non-event.
“The lie that whomever is the President of the MDCT is President or leader of the MDC Alliance is being propagated by desperate charlatans. Clause 3.1 of the Alliance agreement only provided that Tsvangirai would be the Alliance Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.
…In the event of the unavailability of Tsvangirai the Alliance agreement provided that the MDCT would nominate the Presidential candidate, subject to the approval of Alliance partners. Chamisa was so nominated and approved.”Welshman Ncube tweeted on the 1st of April 2020
Other commentators argue that Khupe’s leadership of the MDC based on the technicalities of the court victory does not translate to winning the hearts of the electorate, most which are staunch supporters of Nelson Chamisa.
The power struggle in the MDC has even sucked Mnangagwa’sZanu Pf as the kingpin of the MDC power struggles in order to dilute and weaken Chamisa’s rise against the incumbent president of the country as alleged by David Coltart.
On the 31st of March 2020 after the judgement, David Coltartwho is the MDC Treasurer blamed Mnangagwa for infiltration of his party and said that those behind such schemes will be harshly judged by history.
“The only good thing about today’s judgement is that it lays bare once and for all who had infiltrated the #MDC. Their identities are all now known, working as theyare hand in glove with the Mnangagwa regime. History will judge them harshly. #Zimbabwe” Coltart said.
Jonathan Moyo took a dig at the court for their judgment in the matter and accused people like Douglas Mwonzora of betrayal and power mongering.
“It’s unreasonable & absurd in the extreme for a court to find, as the Supreme Court did in the Khupe matter, that the case is water under the bridge & moot; but rule that it will construct a new bridge in the vain hope of recovering the spilled water to give life to a moot cause!
…It is a pity that @DMwonzora sees things in terms of enemies and not in terms of the truth. Mwonzora has been reaching out to #Zanu Pf & the #CIOs to get support for the leadership of the @mdczimbabwe for a long time. He knows I know & have proof because he approached me directly!”Moyo said on Twitter.