Fear has gripped the MDC Nelson Chamisa faction following the recalling of four legislators from Parliament this Tuesday, with some legislators now contemplating ditching Chamisa to save their political careers and source of livelihoods.
The Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda, this week, informed Parliament that Charlton Hwende, Prosper Mutseyami, Thabitha Khumalo and Lilian Timveous have been recalled from Parliament by MDC because they were no longer representing the interests of that party in the august house.
The recall of the quartet, who were senior members of the MDC, is believed to have sent shock waves into other MDC legislators as they fearfully wait for the dreaded chop from parliament.
In order to save their political careers and safeguard their source of income, some MDC parliamentarians are now nicodemously calling that party’s Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora, assuring him that they will attend the extra ordinary congress.
An insider from the MDC faction led by Thokozani Khupe who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the office of the Secretary General Mwonzora is currently inundated with calls from MDC legislators who are distancing themselves from the Chamisa camp.
“The SG’s office is currently inundated with calls from legislators who are pleading with the party’s leadership not to recall them. These legislators are vowing to abide by the Supreme Court ruling (that Chamisa is an illegitimate leader) and respect the new party leadership,” said the insider.
The source further said some desperate MDC legislators had gone to an extent of offering bribes to Khupe and Mwonzora in a bid to save their careers as most of them were career politicians who survive on salaries and other pecks from Parliament.
It was also revealed by a National Executive Member of the MDC that fear had gripped some legislators because all along they had a false belief that the Chamisa camp had the power to decide who should be in Parliament.
He said reality was now sinking into them that the leadership reins of that party was now firmly in Thokozani Khupe’s hands, hence, they are now making a bee line to Mwonzora’s house pledging to abide by the Supreme Court ruling.
One Harare MDC legislator who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal said their allegiance was to the party not to individuals, a clear sign that the legislator had dumped Chamisa’s camp.
The same legislator said after the Supreme Court ruling, most MDC parliamentarians were forced to sign affidavits pledging their allegiance to Chamisa by the then Secretary General Hwende.
“We signed those papers under duress my brother. We were threatened with recalling and expulsion from the party. However, the current development has shown us that Chamisa is all froth but no substance as he has not issued a statement two days after the recalling of the legislators. If Chamisa was a real leader, he should not allow the likes of Biti (Tendai) and Wiwa (Job Sikhala) to speak on his behalf,” said the legislator.
MDC Deputy Organising Secretary and Highfield West legislator, Happymore Chidziva also confided in this publication that although he and some MDC legislators openly showed their allegiance to Chamisa, it is high time Chamisa quickly changes his political behaviour as he is slowly turning into a dictator.
“Chamisa must change his behaviour for his days in politics to be prolonged. He needs us when he is under fire but when days are good, he wines and dines with the same people who once rebelled against our founding president Tsvangirai (Morgan) at the expense of loyal cadres. I’m still in MDC because I love the party but the current leadership is doing a disservice to the party which Tsvangirai sacrificed for,” said Chidziva.
Chamisa got wind that his so-called legislators are mulling crossing the floor to Khupe camp and to save himself from the looming embarrassment, he has threatened to withdraw the rest of the legislators from Parliament.
Political analysts Mr Tashinga Chabayanzara dismissed Chamisa’s threats to withdraw legislators saying he doesn’t have the power to do so.
“These are just empty threats because only the MDC Khupe faction has the power to withdraw MPs from Parliament. The best legislators from Chamisa faction can do is to resign on their own but I bet they will not do that because the majority of them survive from the little cents they get from Parliament,” said Chabayanzara.
The infighting in the MDC is threatening to tear apart the 21-year old opposition movement as the leadership dilemma continues to hog the limelight, two years after Tsvangirai’s demise.