MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai got his way after the party’s national council yesterday backed his move to appoint Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa as two additional vice-presidents despite opposition from some members in his standing committee.
Tsvangirai, who was flanked by his three VPs including Thokozani Khupe during the national council meeting, was reportedly given overwhelming support by the 12 provincial chairpersons.
“The atmosphere was cordial and Tsvangirai set the pace when he told council that he had implemented the directive which they had given him during the last meeting. This was greeted by deafening cheers,” an insider said.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the endorsement. He said the national council meeting was merely a report-back session.
“The president gave a report-back to the national council. He told the council that he had effected their directive and it was endorsed. Before that, president Tsvangirai had addressed the national executive while sitting with his three vice-presidents,” he said.
MDC-T chairman Lovemore Moyo, youth league president Happymore Chidziva and party spokesperson Obert Gutu did not attend both national council and national executive meetings. Tamborinyoka said the three had extended apologies ahead of the crucial meetings.
Chidziva, who is currently attending a youth conference in China, told NewsDay that the endorsement of the resolutions showed that Tsvangirai had acted within the mandate given to him.
“We stand by our leader because he has always acted in line with the mandate given to him by the national council. MDC is a party of the collective and not individuals,” he said.
Insiders said Gutu did not attend the meeting because he feared for his life after receiving threats from MDC-T youths. The party spokesperson, on the eve of the council meeting, posted on his Facebook page that he was seriously considering his future following the threats.
“Folks, I have been receiving threats of violence against my person. Some of the threats are extremely serious because they are tantamount to naked death threats. I have every reason to believe that my life is in danger,” he wrote.
However, Gutu, a lawyer, said he did not attend the because he had urgent business at the High Court.
Tsvangirai had come under fire from members of his standing committee who accused him of violating the party constitution following the two appointments last month, forcing him to abandon a standing committee meeting last week.