MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and acting treasurer general Theresa Makone were allegedly detained for over an hour at the party’s Harare head office by angry youths who accused them of sabotaging party president Morgan Tsvangirai.
Youths who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com accused Makone of deliberately withholding funds from the embattled opposition leader who was said to be using worn-out tyres on his Mercedes Benz vehicle.
It has also emerged that the ex-premier has regularly experienced embarrassing moments of running out of fuel in the middle of his journeys.
Chamisa however, denied being detained saying he had spent the whole day at Parliament seized with the business of the legal committee which he chairs.
For her part, Makone denied being detained by militant youths saying they were only incensed when they observed Tsvangirai’s left rear tyre develop a puncture outside Harvest House with the driver waiting at the wheel.
Said the former Home Affairs co-minister: “What happened is that some youths were singing and they thought that they had something to sing about …
“ … and they were accusing the chief of staff of neglecting the president’s vehicle and when he tried to get out they started singing in front of him but nothing really happened, he still went about his business. It really was a non-event.
Allegations nothing but pre-congress hoopla … Theresa Makone
Makone blamed claims she was detained on party rivals keen to soil her name as the party approaches its elective congress in two weeks’ time.
“It’s not for the chief of staff, it’s not for me, it’s the job of the driver; he is the one who knows if he has run out of fuel, he is the one who knows when he has run out of oil, he is the one who knows if his tyre is in a condition to be on the road.
“It’s really nonsense but obviously you get it during congress; people thinking that they are scoring points but really making themselves look like fools, that’s all.”
The youths however accusing Chamisa of trying to ‘grow a big head’ by allegedly attempting to topple the party’s founding leader.
Denied being detained by party youths … Nelson Chamisa
“As MDC-T youths, we are saddened when we hear that our leader is being demeaned and sabotaged by people whose preoccupation is to gain more power at all cost; we view this as an open attempt by Nelson Chamisa to overthrow the president,” said a party youth on condition he was not named.
“But the party lost (last year’s general elections) while he was organising secretary and, before he could try to fix his mess, he is already eyeing the position of being secretary general. So his only target is to remove the president.”
Chamisa, who is Kuwadzana East MP, was said to have been involved in an embarrassing bust up with Tsvangirai last weekend, accusing the opposition leader of meddling in the Manicaland party provincial elections.
The elections, it is said, saw Tsvangirai personally preside over the nomination process as party information chief Douglas Mwonzora got a boosting nomination for the secretary general’s post which Chamisa is also targeting.
“There are naysayers whose wish is to run a smear campaign against the party,” Chamisa told local media while denying the alleged bust up with Tsvangirai in Manicaland.
“Nothing of that sort ever happened. I was a bit late in getting into the meeting because I was dealing with issues of security outside.
“These people have always known that I have a solid relationship with the leadership of the party and now want to create non-existent schisms. That kind of claim does not qualify for pub-talk.”