MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, whose party is trying to rebuff allegations that they exposed their colleague to authorities, was reportedly forced to make a cameo appearance at the Harare Magistrate Courts on Wednesday for deputy national chairman Job Sikhala bail hearing.
There are allegations within the MDC-A that Sikhala, who is facing charges of inciting public violence ahead of demonstrations that were supposed to take place on 31 July, was reported to the police by colleagues in the party leading to his arrest in Tynwald last week.
Party sources told The Anchor that Chamisa made an abrupt decision to attend court in solidarity with his deputy national chairman after getting wind that senior party members believed Sikhala was thrown under the bus.
“When Chamisa got word about the rumour circulating over Sikhala’s betrayal, he made a last minute decision to go to the courts so that he doesn’t appear to be among those who conspired against the deputy national chairman.
“Remember last time when the party issued a statement distancing itself from Sikhala’s statements though they later attended his judgement day in the Masvingo courts,” the sources said.
Sikhala’s case, the sources added, had attracted serious attention within party structures.
“All eyes are on the case as it has been used to further factional wars within the party. However, Chamisa’s court attendance yesterday could have poured cold water to the misgivings because even Sikhala himself was pleased,” they said.
Chamisa’s right mand man and party secretary-general Charlton Hwende, has, however, been attending court and following proceedings religiously.
Addressing the media, Chamisa expressed concern about the continued persecution of opposition members by President Mnangagwa’s government and state security forces.
“We are worried about the persecution of opposition members for airing their views. We will, as a party, continue to fight for the rights of Zimbabweans to be respected,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chamisa is expected to attend political activist Dr Patson Dzamara’s burial in Mutoko after the firebrand government critic succumbed to cancer on Wednesday.
Dzamara, according to family, will be buried this Friday.