By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
28 May 2014
As Zimbabwe celebrates Africa Day this week MDC-T National Organizing Secretary Nelson Chamisa has said his party is a genuinely African party whose leaders were born on the continent and believe in its institutions.
He said the fact that his leader Morgan Tsvangirai is being medically treated in the country, while President Mugabe is consulting foreign doctors, shows that the MDC-T is more African than ZANU PF.
Chamisa’s comments come after Tsvangirai was hospitalized in Harare. News of his illness came after the former Prime Minister failed to attend a party rally on Sunday, which was Africa Day.
But as Tsvangirai was being treated in Harare Mugabe had just jetted back from what his aides claim was ‘a routine eye check up’ in Singapore. Mugabe, who claims his party is more patriotic than the MDC-T, routinely goes to the Asian country for treatment and it is difficult to know when he last sought medical attention inside his own country.
Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Cutting Edge programme Chamisa dismissed fears that the MDC-T is splitting, saying the party is ‘purifying’ and is going through the process of renewal. He said his party is different from the old African liberation parties which he said had a tendency to stifle debate and reform.
The Kuwadzana MP said: ‘There is no splitting; it’s a distillation and peeling off process. There are certain elements that then choose to find themselves some comfortable corners and safe zones. It’s a democratic process.’
Chamisa blamed some party members for trying to seek leadership change through ‘undemocratic methods conceived in beer halls.’ He said: ‘You can’t just take up a megaphone and say so and so must go. There are platforms and there is a Congress and that must be respected.’
These observations come after MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti led an attempt to ‘renew’ the party leadership. The attempt which came after the assault and expulsion of deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma, for asking Tsvangirai to resign his position, saw the party split into two factions.
Since then the Renewal Team and the Tsvangirai camp have been fighting over the party assets with incidents of violence being reported. But Chamisa claimed that the party was getting rid of ‘agents and infiltrators’ who are trying to create a ‘crisis.’