17 May 2019

Zimbabwe: MDC Congress Dissenter in Dramatic U-Turn, MP Vows Chamisa Loyalty

Photo: New Zimbabwe
Nelson Chamisa

AN MDC legislator who led a protest by party followers to register discontent on the party's controversial handling of recent nomination processes in Bulawayo, has made a dramatic u-turn on his stance, declaring his allegiance to party leader Nelson Chamisa.

Phelela Masuku, party MP for Nketa, lost the race for party provincial chair to Makokoba legislator James Sithole.

He was soon to lead a handful party supporters numbering 11 into an unsuccessful petitioning of the party's national executive council.

They were demanding the nullification of the local congress results over claims of ballot stuffing and manipulation.

The Bulawayo congress was held at Stanley's Square in Makokoba on April 17 and 18, 2019.

Masuku has since abandoned his stance, claiming he will never betray both Chamisa and the popular opposition party.

In a Facebook post on his wall Thursday, the legislator appeared to be backtracking on the petition.

"Stop abusing my name in the media. I will never betray the struggle. I am religiously loyal to my party and the President and our family affairs are not meant for neighbours or public. Keep on dreaming," wrote Masuku on the Facebook wall.

When reached for comment to expand on his comments, the MP claimed that he does not speak to journalists he did not know.

"I do not normally talk to journalists, moreso when I do not know them. On this one, I do not have a comment," he said.

The MDC provincial congresses were marred by controversy amid claims that Chamisa presided over processes that saw him emerge unopposed in the race to become substantive party leader.

Chamisa was nominated by all the MDC's 13 provinces, becoming the only party official to approach next week's elective congress guaranteed of his job.


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