MDC factional fights escalate

HARARE - The MDC crisis deepened yesterday when one of the vice presidents — Elias Mudzuri who was on Monday barred from entering the party’s headquarters by angry party youths — snubbed a crucial meeting called to try and heal the rift threatening to split the country’s largest opposition party.

Mudzuri said the meeting, which was chaired by another vice president — Nelson Chamisa whose interim leadership he is disputing — was unconstitutional while maintaining he is still the party’s acting president.

The Daily News heard that another vice president Thokozani Khupe sent apologies that she was attending to her sick brother, and that national chairperson Lovemore  Moyo also indicated he was willing to attend but had been given a short notice but promised to attend Thursday’s extra-ordinary national executive committee meeting.

Mudzuri said he was still the acting party leader and dismissed yesterday’s gathering as “null and void”.

“The shenanigans of fast-tracking standing committee, national executive and national council meetings by the self-appointed Nelson Chamisa and those who want immediate power at all costs at the expense of unity, constitutionalism and due process and in the absence of free and fair process to democratically make decisions cannot be tolerated or condoned by any right-thinking Zimbabwean.

“In spite of all this, I will continue to lead the party as the acting president and will hold campaign meetings in every ward, district and province to ensure victory for the party and the people,” he said.

“I will not have unbridled ambitions for power. Let me assure you that once the party is united and there is order and direction, everything will fall into place.

“When the time comes that there is a vacancy in the presidency, everyone who wishes will have the opportunity to present themselves to the people who will make their choice. I will respect that choice and lend all my support to him or her,” the former Harare mayor added.

Chamisa told the Daily News that the feuding officials were now “finding each other”.

Asked about Khupe’s no-show, Chamisa said she had sent her apologies and emphasised they were closing ranks for the good of the party.

“There are still internal issues she wants addressed about the alliance, she has been engaging the president (Tsvangirai) about those. So there is a meeting of minds,” he told the Daily News.

The MDC is in turmoil as the three party VPs are publicly fighting over who should act in the absence of Tsvangirai.

This comes as the long-serving founding party leader, Tsvangirai, is battling for life at a South African hospital where he is receiving treatment for cancer of the colon which has kept him from active involvement in the MDC affairs for the last four months.

But as his health has continued to worry his supporters and family, his senior officials in the MDC have been going at each other hammer and tongs, with different factions punting their preferred candidates to succeed the former PM.

Until last week Monday, Mudzuri was the MDC acting president and insists nothing has changed despite an announcement by Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson — Luke Tamborinyoka who said the ex-PM had appointed Chamisa to take over the reins temporarily — a statement which Mudzuri dismissed as a lie.

At yesterday’s meeting, it was resolved that the MDC would hold crucial extraordinary national executive and national council meetings tomorrow.

“The national standing committee met today in the context of developments in the party. The meeting was held to bring order, sanity, traction and direction as the party builds momentum for victory in the upcoming 2018 elections,” the party’s spokesperson Obert Gutu said in a statement.

Gutu was said to not have attended yesterday’s meeting because of a “scheduled” visit to his doctor as was organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe who was said to be in Turkey.

The MDC has been witnessing factional fights for some time now, which have intensified ever since Tsvangirai hinted that he was thinking of quitting active politics due to his failing health.

Last Friday, Tsvangirai’s family waded into the factional fights — appearing on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) confirming that Mudzuri had met Tsvangirai, prompting some people to allege that the family was taking sides in the MDC’s wars.

The family now also stands accused of ill-treating the former PM’s wife, Elizabeth — with close relatives of the MDC leader apparently accusing Elizabeth of backing Chamisa to succeed Tsvangirai.

All these sad developments are now said to have contributed to the rapid deterioration in recent days of the health of the former PM.


 

Comments (3)

RIP morgan tsvangirai in your on right you stood for what you believed in

shevaz - 15 February 2018

RIP ur hero ,brave fighter for our democracy,we shall remember you always.

TM - 15 February 2018

rest in eternal peace doctor morgan richard tsvangirai. we shall continue from where you left

ernest - 16 February 2018

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