MDC-Alliance has been plunged into fresh turmoil here amid intense jockeying for posts in the party provincial executive, with members aligning themselves with different camps ahead of a make-or-break national congress that poses a serious test to party leader Mr Nelson Chamisa.
Mr Chamisa is likely to face a stern challenge from party secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora and vice president Engineer Elias Mudzuri at the congress tentatively set for May.
At the core of the problems in Masvingo is the war of attrition between some senior party heavyweights led by provincial chair Mr James Gumbi and a group of “prodigal sons” fronted by former Masvingo Urban legislator Mr Tongai Matutu.
Sources said the party members were coalescing around the two camps as provincial elections, a forerunner to the congress, draw closer.
It is believed there is consternation and outrage in the party over plans by ‘prodigal sons’ in Mr Matutu’s camp to wrestle power from Mr Gumbi.
Mr Matutu is said to be backing Mr Jeffreyson Chitando to take over as the party chair in Masvingo.
Mr Chitando’s bid is reportedly facing resistance from Mr Gumbi and the majority of party members who accuse him of wanting to “reap where he did not sow” after dumping the MDC that was then led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mr Chitando joined the People’s Democratic Party then led by Mr Tendai Biti, before finding a new home in the Zimbabwe People’s First then led by ex-vice president Dr Joice Mujuru.
The nomadic Mr Chitando was again to dump Zim PF for Dr Mujuru’s new baby, National People’s Party, before going full circle by re-joining the MDC Alliance.
Besides Mr Matutu, other ‘prodigal sons’ reportedly backing Mr Chitando’s bid to be the new MDC Alliance Masvingo chair are former Gutu Central legislator and NPP Masvingo chair Mr Oliver Chirume and another ex-NPP national executive member and Zaka East legislator Mr Earnest Mudavanhu.Herald