MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa was nearly assaulted on Saturday in Bulawayo during a closed-door meeting held at the party’s provincial offices after he dismissed the MDC-T veterans association (MDC-VA) — a grouping of founding party members — as bogus.
Chamisa was in the city to oversee the holding of elections to fill vacant posts of provincial chairperson, secretary and youth assembly chairperson in the provincial executive.
The elections were aborted at the last minute.
Sources who attended the closed-door meeting told Southern Eye that insults were traded and blows nearly exchanged after Chamisa said the party did not recognise the MDC-VA, claiming that it was bogus.
The MDC-VA is angling for positions during the up-coming congress, saying that they were tired of being on the sideliners without any of them holding influential positions in the party.
The MDC-VA formed in 2008, is reportedly rooting for MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora to take-over the secretary-general’s post at the congress. Chamisa is also reportedly eyeing the position.
This paper was told that the MDC VA did not take kindly to Chamisa dismissing them as bogus, with Nketa district chairperson Samuel Maponde exchanging harsh words with him and threatening to floor him in front of everyone.
Sources said Chamisa had to ask security details to intervene and eject Maponde from the meeting as he was reportedly making way to the top table to “slap Chamisa for disrespect.”
Chamisa yesterday confirmed the chaos, saying Maponde was disrupting the meeting and had to be booted out by security details.
“He was disruptive. He kept interjecting and I don’t like people who disrupt meetings like that. He was now disturbing us and I had to call the security details to boot him out,” he said in a telephone interview.
“I have a problem with people who call themselves the veterans of the MDC-T.
“How can they call themselves veterans of the MDC-T when the struggle is unfinished.
“It’s also very divisive for some people to themselves veterans and others omafikizolo. We don’t need a veterans association.”
Victor Zunza, the MDC-VA national chairman yesterday condemned Chamisa, adding that he should not silence them.
“I don’t see why Chamisa is clashing with us. He should know that he will never silence us and we do not need his approval or support. If he does not understand MDC-VA, he should keep quiet and let others that know about it, talk,” he said.
“Morgan Tsvangirai is our patron. Is he also saying Tsvangirai is bogus? The MDC-T is not safe with Chamisa at the top and to us, he is now a Zanu PF mole bent on destroying the MDC-T.”
The MDC-T Bulawayo province is battling widening divisions following Makokoba MP Gorden Moyo’s decision to step down as chairperson early this month.