Tendai Biti fingered in Chamisa party fissures
FISSURES have erupted in the main opposition MDC Alliance after three legislators defied a party directive to disengage from all parliamentary business and showed up for duty, triggering allegations of an imminent coup on Nelson Chamisa by his deputy Tendai Biti.
Sunningdale legislator Winnie Kanguni exposed a coup plot against Chamisa by Biti, which she said was being led by Harare ward 16 councillor Denford Ngadziore as the two went toe-totoe in an MDC Alliance leadership WhatsApp group.
Ngadziore triggered the debate, accusing Kanguni of selling out Chamisa and the MDC Alliance after she attended a Parliament meeting, saying she should be exposed and dealt with decisively for violating standing committee resolutions.
“The Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Health, Industry, Public Service convened meetings today,” Ngadziore said.
“All genuine MDC Alliance Members of Parliament boycotted in support of national standing committee resolutions. Those who boycotted include the chairperson of the Health committee, Ruth Labode (Matabeleland North proportional representative).
“However, one Kanguni of Sunningadale decided in her great wisdom or lack of it to attend this meeting, clearly in contrast to the party position.”
He added: “Kanguni is, hereby, declared a rebel and due action shall follow immediately after assessing her reasons for defying the party. More provincial council meetings shall be held this week and all rebels will be exposed and dealt with decisively.”
Kanguni did not take the attack lying down, accusing Ngadziore of fanning violence together with Douglas Mwonzora and Morgen Komichi in their bid to oust Chamisa after he led a failed coup on behalf of Biti.
“You are the face of violence, you caused people to be beaten here and everyone knows that you are a sellout,” Kanguni said.
“Why is it that when MDC Alliance activists are arrested, you are the only one who escapes jail? Tell us how you even won the primary elections to become MDC Alliance candidate.”
She added: “The only reason is you wanted me to join Biti so that we plot a takeover from Chamisa for 2023. I didn’t join politics to be an MP,” she said in fierce exchanges in a party structured WhatsApp group.
Biti, who has pledged loyalty to Chamisa in public, is seen as the next MDC Alliance president, with insiders saying he is just waiting in the wings to pull the rug from under the feet of his boss.
But other party insiders said it was actually Biti who was leading the fight against Khupe, Mwonzora and Komichi and galvanising the legislators to back Chamisa.
Ngadziore denied being party to any plot against Chamisa, saying Kanguni was trying to divert attention.
He asked her why he had only begun making those claims after siding with Khupe.
“People want to take advantage of the situation prevailing right now to score cheap points. I am well aware of that. I respect Kanguni as my mother, but for her to wait to first violate a party directive, then her eyes open to the alleged coup plots is just funny,” Ngadziore said.
Attempts to get a comment from Kanguni were fruitless.
The MDC Alliance is in sixes and sevens after MDC-T acting president Khupe, through Mwonzora, the secretary-general, recalled four legislators from Parliament last week.
MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende said there was absolute unity around the leadership of Chamisa and legislators were rallying behind him.
“The only consideration that is on the table is what the people of Zimbabwe want,” Hwende said.
“The people of Zimbabwe want a better life, the people of Zimbabwe want a democratic government that enables them to work for themselves and feed their families.”
He added: “MPs are representing the people. We are in politics for the people and solidly behind the leadership of Chamisa, with his deputies who also solidly support him.”
Meanwhile, the MDC battle has turned nasty in Mashonaland East province, with the Mwonzora allies having approached the courts seeking a protection order against the Chamisa-led MDC Alliance councillors.
MDC-T provincial administrator Wellington Makonese has since approached the courts seeking a peace order against Chamisa allies.
“I have filed for a protection order at the Marondera Magistrates Court against three councillors and other MDC Alliance officials who are threatening me as well as causing mayhem at party offices. These are the same people who besieged and ransacked the party offices,” he said.
The three councillors, Saizi Vilela (ward 11), Charles Ngwena (ward 4) and Wonder Siriya (ward 6), are set to appear in court on May 27.
The councillors are also being investigated for allegedly breaking into party offices and removing 47 chairs, among other property, following the Supreme Court ruling that ordered the party to revert to the 2014 structures, edging Chamisa from the apex.
In a letter dated May 5, Mwonzora said Makonese was the acting provincial administrator who should stay at the party’s provincial headquarters.