MDC-Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa’s rift with his secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora over the forthcoming elective congress continued to widen yesterday with Mr Chamisa taking the first step to initiate the process to expel him.
There was a heated national council meeting in Harare which ended last night which was characterised by bickering as hawks aligned to Mr Chamisa were drawn into an altercation with those fighting in Mr Mwonzora’ camp.
Sources who attended the national council meeting said Mr Mwonzora was given a “last warning within which to behave” or face expulsion.
The major tiff, according to sources, stemmed from Mr Mwonzora’s open declaration that he wanted to challenge Mr Chamisa for the post of party president.
Mr Mwonzora is viewed as a threat because he trounced Mr Chamisa to land the secretary- general’s post at the last congress in 2014.
“Several allegations were raised against Mwonzora in our national council which ranged from working with Zanu-PF, reflecting a different narrative which is at variance with the party position like to insist that the congress will be held in February when the president has indicated that it will be held in November next year. He was also accused of standing up with expelled councillors and other fired members, among others,” said a source who attended the meeting which ended around 7.00pm.
“The best way to describe what happened was that secretary-general Mwonzora survived by a whisker. There were concerted efforts to have him expelled. Those who supported Mwonzora were arguing that only congress had the power to expel him since he was elected by that organ.”
Another source said after a protracted debate characterised by bickering, Mr Chamisa ended the discussion by directing that a last warning be issued against Mr Mwonzora.
“It was a surprise to many of us. It was Chamisa who allowed Mwonzora to survive another day,” said the source.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume confirmed that Mr Mwonzora was discussed but said it was resolved amicably.
“Yes, the issue of party discipline came up for discussion. Senior leadership eventually gave guidance to junior members on the way forward. We are a democratic party capable of resolving our internal democracy,” said Mr Mafume.
Another source said Mr Chamisa’s grand plan was to elbow out Mr Mwonzora before congress as he was perceived as a threat.
“Chamisa feels that he would rather remain with co-vice president Elias Mudzuri as he thinks it is easier to contain him than Mwonzora,” said the source.
While Mr Mwonzora was not available for comment last night, he was quoted in the media yesterday as saying he had the right to contest any position.
He said he was still to make a decision on which position to contest.