Bulawayo, July 30, 2014 – MDC-T factions, the one led by Morgan Tsvangirai and the breakaway Renewal Team led by Tendai Biti, are at each other’s throats over Makokoba legislator Gorden Moyo with both parties claiming the former cabinet minister belongs to them.On Sunday Biti’s Renewal Team announced its national executive committee members and 16 working committees in which Moyo, the party’s former Bulawayo provincial chairperson was appointed in absentia to head the diaspora and international relations committee.
Moyo, once considered a strong Tsvangirai ally, resigned as MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chair last month citing leadership failure and lack of direction in his party.
Tsvangirai plucked Moyo from relative obscurity and appointed him minister in his office and later to cabinet as Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals in the inclusive government.
At the time of his recent resignation from the party, Moyo said he would remain an ordinary party member and MP for Makokoba not aligned to either of the two factions battling for control of the beleaguered party.
According to party insiders, Moyo is of great value to both factions as he has strong links with the donor community.
Moyo also reportedly controls civil society groups in Bulawayo like Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) and Bulawayo Agenda linked with campaigning for MDC-T in the past.
It is felt that the factions that wins over Moyo, is also guaranteed the Bulawayo seats in parliament, due to his influence in civic society.
Tuesday, MDC-T Bulawayo acting provincial chairperson Dorcas Sibanda accused Biti’s team of desperation to a point of incorporating members who did not belong to them.
“As far as I know Gorden Moyo is still a member of MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai. This is a show of desperation on the part of Biti and his team who now want to incorporate people who don’t belong to their grouping,” said Sibanda.
The Bulawayo Central legislator said they were together with Moyo and MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe on Sunday and the Makokoba legislator never indicated he was leaving the party.
“A member of the party lost their child so we were attending the burial. We were there in full party regalia and talking about issues in the organisation,” she added.
“If there was something like that, he was going to say. Moyo has not resigned from the party. He has not communicated in any way that he was leaving. If a person is leaving a party, they write and resign. That has not happened.”
Sibanda however, said if Moyo wanted to join the Renewal Team he was free to do so “because that is his democratic right but he has to resign first”.
She said she was shocked to read in the media that the Renewal Team had appointed Moyo.
“When we asked Moyo about the reports, he denied any association with the group and said they were trying to soil his reputation,” said Sibanda.
“That grouping (MDC Renewal) is not a serious party but chancers. Now they realise that no one is taking them seriously and they have started claiming party officials that do not belong to them.”
MDC Renewal Team spokesperson Jacob Mafume dismissed Sibanda.
He said MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora was on record labelling Moyo a “mafikizolo” and did not understand why Sibanda was raising dust.
“There is one party that had its president suspended because of misconduct. The party has not been divided. Moyo is a member of MDC-T whose president was suspended but the party is still one,” Mafume said.
“Sibanda knows that Tsvangirai is challenging his suspension in the courts. What we came up with is an interim working team as appointed members of the MDC-T because the party has not been divided.
“Besides, Mwonzora called Moyo a mafikizolo. They are the ones who discarded him so we don’t understand what the fuss is about.”
Moyo was unreachable for comment as he is said to be out of the country.
The renewal group has said it would hold its first congress in March next year while Tsvangirai would hold his in October this year.