Zimbabwe’s Opposition MDC is heading for a major split

February 10, 2018
| Report Focus News

Zimbabwe’s opposition party, MDC is heading for a split. That’s as two vice presidents clash over who should take over from the party’s ailing leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

MDC-T organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe has all, but admitted that the main opposition party is on the verge of another split, with structures in Matabeleland and Mashonaland provinces pulling in opposite directions.

Bhebhe told Southern Eye on Wednesday that MDC-T executives in Matabeleland had already started separate election campaign rallies, following clashes with their counterparts in Mashonaland over the party’s involvement in the MDC Alliance.

Bhebhe, MDC-T chairperson Lovemore Moyo and party deputy president, Thokozani Khupe have openly expressed aversion for the MDC Alliance, describing it as a Mashonaland project which had nothing to do with party supporters in Matabeleland region.

They also claimed that they were not consulted when party leader Morgan Tsvangirai sealed the coalition deal with six other opposition leaders. Their bone of contention, however, is the proposed sharing of parliamentary seats, which the trio claims appears to favour MDC-T defectors Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube, who now lead the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and MDC, respectively.

The trio has of late been boycotting all MDC Alliance rallies.

The alliance is made up of MDC-T, MDC, PDP, Transform Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), Zanu Ndonga and the Multi-Racial Christian Democratic Party.

“Every party member has a right to hold election campaign rallies. Likewise, the MDC Alliance has been holding campaign rallies in much the same way we have also been doing in Matabeleland,” Bhebhe said.

“We are holding the rallies, but the only difference is that we have not been posting pictures on Facebook. Not posting pictures on Facebook does not necessarily mean we are not working or doing anything, no, we are on the ground busy campaigning.”

On Saturday, the anti-MDC Alliance team descends on Hwange and Victoria Falls, Bhebhe said.

Differences over the coalition have pushed the party to the brink months before the elections. The situation has been worsened by a leadership vacuum following the prolonged hospitalisation of Tsvangirai.

There is fierce infighting over Tsvangirai’s successor, with Khupe on Wednesday posting on Twitter that she was the rightful heir. Other contenders to the post were VPs Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa.