13 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Chamisa, Biti, Ncube Wanted to Be in Cape Town - Say Organisers

Photo: Nehanda Radio
MDC-T supporters

The MDC-T leadership fight took another twist Monday after organisers of a recent Cape Town meeting revealed that the opposition party's other deputy president, Nelson Chamisa, and his colleagues in the MDC Alliance had also confirmed attendance.

Leading human rights campaigners Brian Kagoro, Brian Raftopolous and Thoko Matshe, in a statement, said contrary to what has been reported, the G40 faction of Zanu PF was never invited and did not attend the meeting.

"Contrary to media sensation and choreographed lies from some quarters the following MDC Alliance leaders were formally invited and did confirm attendance, Welshman Ncube, Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti, Agrippa Mutambara and (Jacob) Ngarivume," the organisers said.

"Tickets were purchased, and hotel reservations made for them. Their written confirmations of attendance are available."

According to the organisers, the alliance principals then made requests to have secretary generals of Biti's People's Democratic Party, Ncube's MDC and Zanu Ndonga attend and this was granted but when a demand to exclude Elton Mangoma's Coalition of Democrats and former Vice President Joice Mujuru's Rainbow Coalition was made this was turned down.

"The organisers did not feel that the composition of an experience sharing workshop should've determined by a single political party or coalition.

"The organisers regret the voluntary withdrawal of the five individuals and regret even more their patently false and defamatory statements regarding the organisation of the experience sharing workshop," said the statement, singling out Ncube as a particular culprit.

Consultations for the workshop, according to the organisers, started in September 2017 two months before Zanu PF's G40 was to be vanquished by a military intervention that paved the way for President Emmerson to take of power.

"For the record G40 was never invited to the experience sharing workshop, nor was it part of organising the same," the organisers insisted.

"The concerted and choreographed disinformation campaign by the Zanu PF leadership and elements of the MDC Alliance can only be noted as an unfortunate but revealing confluence of interests opposed to broad based political dialogue and coalition building."

The meeting was motivated by a desire "create a safe place for emerging Zimbabwean coalitions to learn from different African coalition building processes".

While his rivals claim Mudzuri went to the meeting in his capacity as MDC-T acting president, it has emerged that all attendees were there in their individual capacities.

"The meeting was never from conception intended to be a negotiation platform between political actors. Such an onerous task could not possibly happen over two short days even if we wanted. Invitees to the meeting were individuals not party hierarchy.

"After all this is (sic) a technical workshop whose objective was to explore how coalitions have worked or failed to work," added the organisers.

Mudzuri, MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora and first deputy president Thokozani Khupe were slated for attending a meeting "intended to bring back (former President Robert Mugabe) through the back door using his G40 cohorts now holed up in exile, among them former cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwawo.

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