By Nkosana Dlamini
Former MDC top-official-turned-Coalition-of-Democrats leader, Elton Mangoma has hit out at ex-allies Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora for allegedly conspiring to split the main opposition and exposing the party to what he says in an impending Zanu PF poll defeat.
The former Energy minister and MP was speaking to Zimstar News in the wake of a fierce MDC wrangle that has torn the party into two bitter factions.
Chamisa has gone on to dump the opposition name for Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) while Mwonzora retains the MDC brand name, colours, logo, related identities and assets.
But Mangoma, who led the 2014 MDC split from the then Morgan Tsvangirai led opposition while demanding leadership change, chastised his former allies for a sideshow he said was not helpful to the much-desired objective of dislodging Zanu PF.
“There is a bigger problem in Zimbabwe, that those who truly want to change the trajectory of this county should be getting together to push out the current system. The fights that are happening will only entrench ZANU PF rule,” he said.
Since the split last year, the Mwonzora led faction has won the court battle for the party and seems to be enjoying a warmer hand from the Zanu PF led government at the expense of its rival.
This has invited claims by rivals the MDC-T was fronting a hidden agenda by incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa to divide the opposition and render blunt, his opponents’ resolve to unseat him in elections.
Mangoma said he did not buy the argument Mwonzora was leading a Mnangagwa spoiler party.
He however insisted the two parties had in their ranks, members of the country’s spy agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
“I do not buy the argument that the MDC-T is a Mnangagwa spoiler party. There are enough CIO operatives at senior levels in all those formations dictating the current efforts not to unite,” he said without dropping names.
Asked if indeed these were real CIO operatives or he was using the term loosely to describe opposition elements opposed to party unity, Mangoma insisted these were indeed individuals who were on CIO payroll.
Commenting on MDC Alliance’s decision to abandon the MDC brand for CCC, Mangoma said Chamisa will do so much in trying to prove who is more supreme between him and Mwonzora, in the process surrendering the main objective of the opposition ending Zanu PF stranglehold on national politics.
“If leadership cares about the plight of people, then uniting to fight ZANU is the way to go. These efforts will only establish who is the largest opposition,” he said.
However, the former MDC factions insist on causing an upset in the pending by-elections and in the 2023 harmonised elections.
Chamisa, on his part, admitted during announcement of name change recently that his party has been infiltrated by the State.