MDC Youth Assembly vice president Shakespeare Mukoyi said he will not testify against party leader, Nelson Chamisa, in his battle against Thokozani Khupe for the control of the country’s biggest opposition party.
Mukoyi told the Daily News yesterday that Khupe’s camp was lost to think he can turn against Chamisa in their bruising legal battle for the party’s leadership.
“Khupe and (Obert) Gutu must go hang because I am a loyal party cadre who has never sold out and is not about to sell out now,” said Mukoyi.
“They are betting for the wrong horse and they will be shocked if they try it: if they think simply because I have had problems with my fellow comrades in Kuwadzana East then I am now a mercenary who will be bought by pieces of silver. That will not happen,” he vowed.
Khupe’s camp is planning to subpoena Mukoyi to explain how the MDC youth wing, which goes by the moniker, Vanguard, helped Chamisa usurp power before the death of the party’s founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
This came after Mukoyi was quoted saying he approached MDC deputy treasurer general Charlton Hwende—his rival in the Kuwadzana East constituency primary elections—to effect illegal leadership change in the party when Tsvangirai was ill.
Khupe’s deputy, Gutu, immediately took to twitter to celebrate the revelation.
“Shackie Mukoyi will be one of our start witnesses when the High Court trial kicks off. Oral evidence is the best. Brace up for extremely interesting revelations and confessions” Gutu tweeted.
Gutu went on to say his camp would approach the courts to have Mukoyi testify and reveal what they the MDC youth wing did in view of his confession.
Mukoyi, however, said Khupe should instead come to terms with “the reality that the highest decision-making body of the MDC in-between congresses — the national council — made a decision that Chamisa was the president and that will not change”.
“She (Khupe) is a senior member of the party and I wonder why she is wasting time on issues she knows have since been resolved and will not be revisited”.
Chamisa and Khupe are locked in a vicious power struggle over who between them is the legitimate MDC president and the use of the party name and logo.
The wrangle was spawned by Tsvangirai’s death in February, after succumbing to cancer of the colon.
Chamisa’s claim to the MDC leadership is on account of a national council resolution that elevated him to lead the party into this year’s elections pending an extraordinary congress in less than a year.
Khupe, who has since held her own congress in the party’s name, however, argues that she is the legitimate leader.
Khupe’s camp accuses its rivals of endorsing the activities of the Vanguard whose members were accused of assaulting the former deputy prime minister in Bulawayo last year and in Buhera at Tsvangirai’s funeral.
Meanwhile, Sten Zvorwadza, leader of the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NVUZ), has urged the organisation’s membership to give President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration a chance.
Once a fearless critic of Zanu PF, under the leadership of former president Robert Mugabe, Zvorwadza has, all of a sudden, emerged as one of the staunchest defenders of the successor administration led by Mnangagwa.
His volte face has surprised many, including some of his followers.
Amid speculation that he might have been induced, financially, to sing praises of Mnangagwa, Zvorwadza insisted yesterday that there was nothing untoward about his new found love for the new dispensation, which swept to power in November last year when Mugabe was forced to resign following a military intervention.
“If there is a person who gave me money for the things I was doing they can throw the first stone, but if there is none then I am clean,” he told the Daily News.
“In Zanu PF — when we are knocking on their doors — no one is talking politics. We gave the MDC a platform in 2014, 2015, 2016 but they declined to give us a voice,” added Zvorwadza.
The NVUZ chairperson said the MDC betrayed the civic movement in Zimbabwe at a time they needed them the most.
He said he will not be doing the vendors any good if he were to back a divided opposition.
“The new dispensation gave us a 48-hour ultimatum to vacate the streets and we also gave them an ultimatum of 48 hours to create jobs. After that, we then engaged them and they opened their doors to us. We then agreed that vendors will not be beaten up and not moved from the streets until a lasting solution is found. They listened to us. We accept that the plight of the vendors has not changed but there is now zero harassment,” he said.
On the other hand, we were being beaten up in the streets by the old regime but the opposition were silent. We were at times even protecting MDC-T councillors. Time and time again, we pleaded for their assistance but not even a statement came from the MDC-T condemning violence against vendors.
“The MDC-T were even telling their people not to attend our demonstrations. In essence, at every point the MDC-T was fighting processes that they purport to stand for.
As an organisation, we stand for the truth. If a Zanu PF person is beaten up, we stand by that person. We should not be seen as standing by a particular political party. We stand for all vendors.
“There are now a lot of independent candidates because they have been let down. Let’s move forward and support our government and leave politics aside. Let’s move away from politics of intolerance. We can’t say we are waiting for so-and-so’s government. What about if that government never comes?”