Scrambling to make sense of shifting political ground in the opposition MDC Alliance, Ostalos Siziba and Happymore “Bvondo” Chidziva have dumped party leader Nelson Chamisa, and declared their support for his deputy, Tendai Biti.
Youth secretary-general Siziba and secretary for rural mobilisation Bvondo, both key figures in the Youth Assembly, have long been considered close Chamisa allies, but a growing groundswell of support for someone else to lead the party into the 2023 elections has seen the pair shifting allegiance.
Apart from the push to have Biti replace Chamisa, another faction in the opposition wants to have former Cabinet Minister Dr Nkosana Moyo at the helm of the party well ahead of the elections. Yet another grouping wants Welshman Ncube – a co-deputy president of the MDC Alliance – to immediately succeed Chamisa.
Siziba and Bvondo have assumed prominent roles in the MDC Alliance voter mobilisation effort for the 2023 polls, and it is in this regard that their backing Biti could be critical.
Chamisa has not taken the perceived treachery of the pair lying down, and on Thursday morning there was drama at the MDC Alliance office in Mabelreign, Harare when the party leader’s allies tried to stop Siziba and Bvondo from entering the premises for an emergency National Standing Committee meeting. Security informed the two youth officials that due to COVID-19 restrictions, they could not allow the pair in as the venue was already full.
Siziba declined to comment, while Bvondo’s phone was unreachable at the time of publication.
Insiders said the meeting was called to lay the groundwork for Biti’s sacking as Chamisa’s deputy.
“People close to Chamisa were instructed to carefully screen and vet anyone entering the meeting, so that they block as many pro-Biti and pro-Welshman people as possible. But Siziba forced his way in anyway.
“The meeting resolved to invite the former Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, into the party leadership to deputise Chamisa… The MDC Alliance now seeks to revoke Biti’s membership and subsequently kick him out,” an insider said.