Monday, 8 June 2020


AS POLITICAL tensions in the country continue to escalate, combative MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job “Wiwa” Sikhala, pictured, has renewed his threat to lead rolling mass demonstrations against President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government.

Speaking to the Daily News in an interview at the weekend — as the MDC’s factional wars reach a point of no return — the firebrand Zengeza West legislator blamed Mnangagwa and Zanu PF for allegedly working to “dismember” the opposition.

As a result, he said, the MDC Alliance was preparing to embark on massive protests against the government “because enough is enough”.

“The level of agitation among the people now has never been witnessed before in the history of this country … they are just waiting for leadership to end the game.
“Our people have not surrendered to fate about their destiny. They are waiting for the call and the call is not very far. It is imminent.

“This time, they (the planned protests) won’t be coming in instalments. They will be incessant,” Sikhala told the Daily News.

“If you are in opposition, the elephant in the room is Emmerson Mnangagwa and his thieving regime. Let’s remain focused. I have heard your cries and appeals. Watch this space. The time is now.

“Fighting oppression is no kindergarten task. It needs conviction to the cause and selfless commitment. It is the same to the servants of God. You can only be a prophet through calling.

“Bringing happiness to all citizens through fighting oppression needs calling, not opportunism.

“If you are not in it for opportunism, arrests and other vicissitudes associated with demolishing oppression should be anticipated,” Sikhala added.

“The Robert Mugabes of the time suffered years of incarceration fighting an unjust system. We have learnt from those who did it in the past.

“The Joshua Nkomos did it for the people. We are also prepared to do it for the people. Generations to come will enjoy the fruits of the blood of the martyrs of today.

“No one is afraid of prison as it is a den for the genuine and committed. Prisons don’t break the spirit of the selfless leadership. No one is afraid of that,” Sikhala further told the Daily News.

This comes as interim MDC leader Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa have been involved in a fierce tussle for control of the country’s largest opposition party — a war that began since it’s much-loved founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai, died from colon cancer in February 2018.

The fights took a turn for the worse after the Supreme Court upheld an earlier High Court ruling in March, which had nullified Chamisa’s hotly-disputed ascendancy to the helm of the MDC following Tsvangirai’s death. 

The ugly factional wars went a notch up last Thursday after Khupe seized the party’s iconic national headquarters, the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House — allegedly with the assistance of security forces.

On Friday, MDC Alliance vice presidents Tendai Biti, Lynette Karenyi-Kore and other senior officials were arrested when they tried to enter the building.
 Sikhala said all the “goings-on “in the MDC were being fuelled by Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, to weaken the MDC and Chamisa ahead of the fast-approaching 2023 polls.
 Last month, the lawyer-cum-politician also threatened to embark on demos following the recall of four MDC legislators from Parliament.

“We are going to deal with him (Mnangagwa) and this is not an empty threat. Do I look like somebody who is joking?

“You have been clamouring for this and we are now going to give it to you in abundance. Watch this space,” he also warned then.

He also claimed that there was a “perverse and insidious attempt” by Zanu PF and its proxies to “dismember the MDC Alliance by executing a coup” against its elected leadership “under the guise of implementing the equally insidious” judgement of the Supreme Court which allegedly sought to “foist Zanu PF proxies” as leaders of the main opposition.

This came after the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, sanctioned the expulsion of four pro-Chamisa legislators — Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East), Tabitha Khumalo (proportional representative), Prosper Mutseyami (Dangamvura) and Midlands senator Lilian Timveos — on the basis that the quartet had ceased to be members of the MDC, which was formerly led by Tsvangirai.

Both Chamisa and Khupe have been criticised for failing to put their differences aside and focusing on the failures of Zanu PF — whose incompetent handling of the economy has angered long suffering Zimbabweans.

Recently, former MDC chairman Lovemore Moyo said pointedly that the current brawling between the two had “absolutely nothing to do with serving the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe”.

“The fight between the two formations is purely a power struggle. It’s about fighting for control of the soul of the MDC and president Morgan Tsvangirai’s political legacy.
“More importantly, it’s about who is who in the MDC leadership,” the now leader of the United Movement for Devolution said.

“Unfortunately, there is no winner in the on-going political fight as the two parties will significantly lose the opposition vote, supporters and credibility.

“Actually, Zanu PF will emerge the biggest winner as it stands from a divided and unco-ordinated opposition come the 2023 general elections.

“Remember, the 2005 MDC split set a wrong precedent that one can disregard the party constitution, regulations and rules and still remain in charge of the party,” Moyo said further.
“In this regard, weak party structures capitulated and supported Tsvangirai in defying the national council decision on the Senate participation.

“However, it must be noted that Tsvangirai went on to build a strong and vibrant MDC that performed exceptionally well in elections,” the soft spoken former Matobo legislator said.

“My advice is very simple. Put the interests of the people of Zimbabwe first. Your personal egos and interests will always be accommodated if you deliver electoral victory in plebiscites.

“What you are doing to yourselves, tearing each other apart, especially on social media, makes Zanu PF smile. Focus on the ball.

“None of the two parties is holding the ball. It’s Zanu PF that is currently holding and playing the ball,” Moyo added.  At the weekend, Biti also warned Mnangagwa and his under pressure government that the country was facing imminent implosion.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News’s sister paper, the Daily News On Sunday, the tough-talking MDC Alliance vice president said it was clear something would have to give soon, in the light of Zimbabwe’s worsening political and economic crises.

“We urgently need a political solution in this country because if we do not do that, as (Finance minister) Mthuli Ncube admits in his letter to the International Monetary Fund, there is going to be an implosion.

“An implosion could mean another military coup, people going into the streets and being shot … but for crying out loud we need a political solution and a national transitional authority.

“The economy is arrested by a milieu of debilitating challenges, that are beyond Mnangagwa, Mthuli and the Zanu PF government.

“At the centre of these challenges is the failure to resolve the deep political crisis in the country,” Biti told the Daily News On Sunday.

“The attack on the MDC Alliance, the capture of state institutions … the violent takeover of our head office Harvest House, are all things that … are a huge own goal to Mnangagwa.

“They make him lose trust and confidence amongst Zimbabweans, in the region and the world.
“He must know as someone who went to war that a regime can ban a political party, assassinate its leaders, but that only makes the flame of freedom and democracy grow and flourish.

“If that was not the case, there wouldn’t have been independence in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia,” Biti further told the Daily News On Sunday.

“All oppressed people would still not be free. But they became free the more the regimes of oppression acted illegally and unconstitutionally,” he added. Daily News


Post a comment