BY RAY NDLOVU:
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Morgan Tsvangirai — which is still trying to come to grips with its election defeat at the hands of President Robert Mugabe for the third consecutive time in the July 31 election — now has to contend with the rise of a mole within its ranks who has taken to Facebook to air grievances against the party.
The Facebook page, Harvestlikis, which is named after the MDC-T’s headquarters, Harvest House, lifts the lid on the inner workings of the party at its Harare head office and is likely to pose a fresh headache for Mr Tsvangirai, who already faces tough questions over continuing as leader of the party.
Mr Tsvangirai has been at the helm of the MDC-T for 14 years and in that time has lost three consecutive elections to Mr Mugabe since 2002.
The Harvestlikis page is described as “a platform where secrets from the Harvest house are spilled”. It is styled along the lines of the whistle-blowing Baba Jukwa account on Facebook that was so popular over its Zanu (PF) exposés in the run-up to the elections. Harvestlikis, which so far has slightly more than 8,000 likes, has made claims of sex scandals, power struggles in the MDC-T, and a deepening financial crisis as its traditional financiers desert the party.
“Is it our problem that we lost to Zanu (PF)? Our traditional funders seem to be punishing us for losing this election. Money is no longer forthcoming. I think it’s the people who let us down. Now the party is going to retrench 80 of our 130 employees countrywide by the end of this month,” a recent posting lamented. Another tackled the issue of leadership renewal, which has been openly called for by Roy Bennett, the MDC-T treasurer-general exiled in SA.
Political observers said the rise of the Facebook page in which in-house issues of the MDC-T were being aired in the public arena showed the continuing strains within the party.
“With the changes in the situation of the MDC-T, the Harvestlikis page may have some impact and people will begin to pay attention to it. This is in light of the cracks appearing in the party,” political commentator Khanyile Mlotshwa said.
Last week, the MDC-T’s leadership was humiliated by its councillors in the cities of Gweru, Kwekwe, Mutare and the resort town of Victoria Falls, who voted for Zanu (PF) mayors while ditching the party’s candidates, who had been handpicked by its top brass.
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora described the actions of the party’s municipal councillors as “extreme indiscipline”.
Meanwhile. the growing popularity of Harvestlikis follows hard on the heels of another Facebook page, which purportedly belongs to Mr Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth.
On the Facebook page named Mrs Elizabeth Macheka Tsvangirai, his wife regularly encourages MDC-T supporters to hang on and remain united despite the crushing defeat that they suffered in the election.
A recent appeal for financial assistance on the page has led to the MDC-T denying that the account in question belonged to Mrs Tsvangirai.
“We are now questioning the motive behind those people who are making the account so popular. She does not operate any Facebook account,” the embattled MDC-T leader’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said
“Mrs Tsvangirai is very clear that there is a sinister motive on the part of the people behind this page, which now started sourcing for money in her name.”
Please click here to sing a petition calling for the voters roll, in its proper, searchable, analysable, electronic form to be released, and for all sealed records to be released of who voted, where they voted, and who helped whom, and who got turned away.
Zimbabwe deserves transparency!