MDC-Alliance youths aligned to party president Mr Nelson Chamisa on Friday disrupted the party’s Harare provincial meeting and threatened to harm members perceived to be seeking to dislodge Mr Chamisa at the forthcoming congress.
Harare provincial chairman Mr Eric Murayi had called for the meeting to explain the party’s congress template to members. Reliable sources who spoke to The Herald said youths backing the leadership of Mr Chamisa stormed into the meeting that had about 270 members and disrupted the smooth flow of the meeting.
Among the notables who were at the meeting were Mr Rhino Mushaya, provincial organising secretary Mr Happymore Chidziva, Mr James Chidhakwa, Ms Virginia Muradzikwa and Mr Costa Machingauta, among others. However, 20 minutes into the meeting, the sources said, a group of six youths among them one of the youths only identified as Benjamin who is Mr Chidziva’s driver entered the venue of the meeting chanting “Nero, Nero Nero Chete”.
“They threatened to assault (Mr) Murayi and those against (Mr) Chamisa’s presidency by supporting (Mr) Douglas Mwonzora to take over leadership of the party,” said the source.
“They categorically made it clear to those who were in the meeting that they do not want anyone who opposes (Mr) Chamisa to lead the party.”
As commotion ensued, Mr Paul Madzore is said to have stormed the meeting chanting in support of Mr Chamisa and a fight broke out between one Benjamin from Mabvuku and Mr Chidziva’s driver. The source said Mr Machingauta took over chairing the meeting.
“When he started addressing the meeting, almost all the members walked out in fear of their lives,” said the source.
“Chidziva stressed that no violence would be permitted but at the same time said they would beat anyone who opposes Mr Chamisa in the coming election. He said Mr Chamisa is not going to be contested.”
According to the sources, the meeting resolved their branch meetings would begin today. They also deliberated over the integration process imploring parties in the alliance to dissolve their structures for them to participate in the congress processes at branch levels. The party is said to have also resolved to welcome members from the G40 fronted by former president Robert Mugabe and included in the party structures. This vindicated this paper’s report that Mr Mugabe was funding Mr Chamisa’s campaign to outfox his rivals ahead of the MDC party’s congress scheduled for May.