ZANU PF politburo member Christopher Mutsvangwa has said Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi was behind the chaos in the opposition MDC, telling party officials that he was using the courts to ensure that “MDC goes back to running by its constitution”.
Speaking at a Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial co-ordinating committee meeting at Chinhoyi High School yesterday, Mutsvangwa, a former adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, said the resultant infighting in the opposition ranks would ensure that Nelson Chamisa and his MDC-Alliance were “history”.
“We are happy with the efforts by the MDC to go back to running by the constitution, that’s what Zimbabwe wants, a party which respects institutions. I hope they continue on that path and I want to thank our Minister of Justice (Ziyambi), who has been helping them moving in that direction … by making sure the courts do their job,” he said.
In March, the Supreme Court ruled that the late MDC founder and leader Morgan Tsvangirai had in 2016 unconstitutionally appointed Chamisa as vice-president alongside Elias Mudzuri, leading to his eventual elevation to lead the party in 2018.
It declared Thokozani Khupe, who leads a smaller faction of the MDC, interim leader and charged her with organising an extraordinary congress to replace Chamisa.
“… times are hard but, there is a lot of subversion which has been directed against Zimbabwe as a State, especially after the election period because one particular party has a young man who says ‘I don’t play by the rules’. He hates Zec, if the High Court gives a judgment, he refuses to accept it, if the Supreme Court delivers a judgment he does not accept it.
“In his party, he rose by a coup and now those who were disgruntled, who were the victims of him in the party, their party, because he rose by a coup, they have now gathered the courage to challenge him back,” Mutsvangwa said.
“It’s not a quarrel now between Chamisa and Zanu PF, it’s a quarrel between Chamisa and his colleagues within MDC. We are spectators to what is going on there, but along the way we hope they can become constitutional, but also they become more patriotic and love their country. That’s what we want.
“We have no problem with an opposition, we are a democratic party.”
Contacted for comment, MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende said Mutsvangwa was “daydreaming” because the party would not be destroyed easily.
“Mutsvangwa is hallucinating. The MDC will not be easily destroyed. They have been trying since (the days of) our founding father the late Morgan Tsvangirai to destroy our party, but they failed and will fail,” Hwende said.
The MDC Alliance is on record accusing Khupe of dalliance with Zanu PF, while civic society organisations have in the past raised concern over judicial appointments made by the President and the bench’s independence.