MDC-T Militia: 'We Elevated Chamisa to Power as Tsvangirai was Dying'

Harare — As the jostling for political clout gets hotter and nastier – Shakespeare Mukoyi — the MDC-T national deputy youth leader and self-confessed commander of the party’s militia — the Vanguard — an equivalent to the detested ruling Zanu PF 'Green Bombers' now claims that he engineered the ascendancy of Nelson Chamisa to power.

In an interview with the NewsDay, adding that there was an alleged plot to block him from contesting the Kuwadzana East constituency, which he claimed was given to him by Chamisa, now the party leader to appreciation his bravado.

Mukoyi says national treasurer Charlton Hwende was being imposed as an MDC-T candidate for Kuwadzana East constituency. Primary elections for Kuwadzana East failed to take off after Mukoyi and Hwende’s supporters disrupted the process.

“I feel like our leadership is not sincere and honest. Before the primaries were held, I approached our party president (Chamisa) and had a talk with him concerning that constituency,” Mukoyi said.
The Late Morgan Tsvagirai and Nelson Chamisa

“I said to him: ‘God has blessed you to become the president, and I, as a party member resident in Kuwadzana, who has stood with the party through thick and thin, can you bless me to take over from you?’ The president said he has no problem with it and he actually expected that from people who have worked hard for the party.”

Hwende refuted Mukoyi’s claims, saying it was not true that Chamisa had “blessed him” with the Kuwadzana East seat, and that the Vanguard had engineered Chamisa’s rise to the party presidency.

Mukoyi, however, said that when Tsvangirai was on his deathbed early this year, the party leadership approached him asking him to engineer Chamisa’s ascendancy.

“During the time when Tsvangirai was on his deathbed, my brother Hwende and other leaders approached me saying the situation was bad and the party needed new leadership.

“They told me that the work that they were about to do had to be done by the youth assembly, especially the Vanguard, which they are now dismissing as thugs today. We fought to bring sanity in the party until we had this hierarchy that we are having today.” 

He said he had worked hard for the party since its formation in 1999, concentrating mostly in the Kuwadzana area.

“If it is true then, what it means is that the leadership might not be genuine because we are told different things. However, at the same time, we expected that the party will exercise justice in this matter because Kuwadzana East is my area and I rose through the leadership to the national from here,” Mukoyi said.

“I feel betrayed that they say The Vanguard is bad, yet they are the ones who were behind the operations of The Vanguard. This is bad. Maybe, as leaders they, have their wisdom to say that, but I don’t think that is right.”

Hwende rubbished Mukoyi’s statements as false and meant to tarnish the party and its presidential candidate Chamisa’s image.

“That is nonsense and as far as we are concerned, only the national council elected Chamisa to be the president. I am not aware of any other person who did that,” said Hwende.

He insists that he had been actively involved in Kuwadzana since 2000 when he was campaign manager for the now late former legislator Learnmore Jongwe and later campaigned for Chamisa in 2003.

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