FORMER MDC-T chairperson, Lovemore Moyo, has accused the party’s late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, of sowing seeds of divisions that have rocked the opposition party, culminating in the formation a breakaway faction led by expelled deputy president, Thokozani Khupe.
Moyo stepped down as MDC-T chairperson on Thursday in protest over what he described as “unconstitutional power grab by party leader, Nelson Chamisa, violence, and the illegal appointment of two more deputies by Tsvangirai”.
He said he was disappointed by the structure and composition of the MDC Alliance — a grouping of seven opposition parties, which has anointed Chamisa as its presidential candidate.
“This made me to reflect and review my participation in the movement as this to me was a clear departure from the principles and values of the movement,” Moyo told Southern Eye at the weekend.
“The MDC-T was formed on the basis of constitutionalism, but, and may his soul rest in peace, Tsvangirai had unfortunately given himself powers that were not there in the constitution, resulting in rolling conflicts and now the split. Welshman Ncube (MDC), Tendai Biti (PDP), Elton Mangoma (RDZ) and many others at some point once quit the party citing the same reasons of un-constitutionalism on the part of our departed leader.”
On Friday, the MDC-T national council expelled Khupe, organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe and spokesperson, Obert Gutu for opposing the formation of the MDC Alliance and refusing to recognise Chamisa’s elevation as MDC-T leader.
The previous week, Khupe had all but revealed the party had split after she told her followers that she was “beginning a new journey”.
Khupe has since notified the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) that she would contest the upcoming elections as MDC-T presidential candidate, a development likely to cause fierce legal battles, as the two camps fight over the party’s name.
Moyo said all this could have been avoided had Tsvangirai allowed constitutionalism to prevail.
“He was a good leader, and very popular at the same time, but it is clear that during his last days, he left the scars that led to the disintegration and to this current split. He began this process to a conflict, a conflict where people were, for example, being beaten for having opposing views as happened in Bulawayo when thugs were sent to beat us at the party offices, but it has always been our desire to remain united but well,” he said.
But, MDC-T Bulawayo spokesperson, Felix Magalela Sibanda rubbished Moyo’s claims, saying the former Speaker of Parliament and Matobo North legislator had no locus standi to comment on MDC-T issues, as he ceased to attend to party business in 2012.
“It is not a secret that Lovemore Moyo has not been with the party since 2012 when he was still the Speaker of Parliament then,” Sibanda said.
“His attitude and operations left a lot to be desired. More about his dubious leadership is yet to be exposed. Time will only tell, and the nation shall be fully apprised of his underhand dealings. Why is he not grateful to the late Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC-T for having upgraded him to the position of the Speaker of Parliament. He is enjoying a fat pension cheque every month because of the party, but today is abusing the hand that feeds him.”
Sibanda called party members to remain resolute and steadfast to the end and disregard these “renegades”.