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MDC Aliance Secretary-General, Chalton Hwende has responded to several claims by some of the party’s members who recently defected to the ruling ZANU PF. Among other things, he’s been accused of trying to influence Nelson Chamisa to expel Job Sikhala from the party. Hwende speaks after Lilian Timveos and Blessing Chebundo had defected to the ruling party. He said:
ZANU PF has continued with its protracted war of attrition against the MDC Alliance and its leadership. The regime is using our erstwhile colleagues who have left us and joined their moribund regime to attack and destabilize the MDC Alliance through peddling malicious falsehoods and scurrilous allegations especially against my person. The intention is to weaken the MDC Alliance leadership and destabilize the party. It is not surprising as most regimes bone out of a coup entrench themselves through co-optation of opposition elements and systematic targeting of their legitimate opponents. We are a natural target since our President won the 2018 election whose victory the regime stole from us.
While it is not in the ordinary for me to respond to ZANU Pf allegations on our internal issues, I would like to address some of the concerns considering that they are intended to damage both my personal integrity and most importantly the repute of the party. First. allegations were levelled that party funds have been misappropriated. In addition to our audit (of the party finances in the period after 2019 congress) which was successful I must state that we have tried and tested systems of deploying financial resources in the organisation which leave no room for misappropriation by any single individual. While human beings are fallible, systems are fail-safe. I take pride in the systems we have put in place which cannot be manipulated in the manner suggested.
Second, the allegation that I have tormented people in meetings to the point of tears and even drove a few to the absurd, deplorable and treacherouS act of joining ZANU P.F. is laughable. Constitutional meetings of organs of the party have continued uninterrupted since congress in the physical and virtually in instances where we are unable to meet physically due to lockdown restrictions. The organ that was singled out by ZANU PF speaking through the renegades, the Standing Committee, is chaired by the party President. In all our Standing Committee meetings, our President has ensured that meeting etiquette is observed in line with our democratic principles of tolerance, diversity of thought and freedom of speech. Should it be the case that a member feels they have been treated unfairly by another, the party has competent mechanisms to address grievances as a way of ensuring that our platforms remain safe spaces. I state here that if any member feels aggrieved by my conduct, I am personally available and willing to subject myself before organs of the party to answer to such allegations. I presented myself before congress in Gweru and had I not been elected, I was ready and willing to work with the one elected; such is my faith and confidence in the competency of our internal democracy. In the same spirit, I am open to criticism and correction. Be this as it may, I know that the current spurt of attacks is orchestrated by ZANU PF to put a wedge between the SG and the office of the president. These efforts will continue to fail dismally as I am not mistaken in the execution of my mandate to serve the institution and to give unquestionable support to our President Adv Nelson Chamisa.
For the record those who have left the MDC Alliance have done so voluntarily without any undue pressure from any quarter. No one was pushed out of the MDC Alliance.
It must astonish any right thinking citizen that those who claim to be running away from being insulted in private in the MDC Alliance are joining ZANU PF, a party which has not only insulted them publicly in the past but has maimed and killed thousands of MDC Alliance supporters. That kind of duplicity and treachery is shocking. We all know that those who have left the MDC Alliance and joined ZANU PF have done so to benefit from ZANU PF patronage and corruption. Others have done so after failing to recover from their loss in the popularity contest during our elective congress in 2019. We will work better to give the necessary psychological support to sore “losers” as well as ideological orientation to members that in a democratic organisation like the MDC Alliance we are all winners when the best is deployed and congress must never be the basis of terminal acrimony.
Those who have decided to join the gravy train are free to do so but they should never justify their treacherous behaviour by peddling falsehoods and mudslinging those who have chosen to keep fighting and speaking for the people. Despite the odds, the people’s movement has persevered with the unwavering support of the jobless graduate, the starving pensioner, the vending mother in the dusty streets of Harare right to the support of the farmer in the last but in Umguza. I personally will never betray the people’s cause. We are up against a ruthless enemy but we will prevail. The final call is unchanged. The journey is like a pendulum swing; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left but the final call remains unchanged, victory is certain.