Tsvangirai Extends Charm Offensive To CSOs

Harare, March 24, 2014 – MDC -T leader Morgan Tsvangirai will on Tuesday meet representatives of Zimbabwe’s civil society as he seeks to galvanise support and placate the pro-democracy groups.

A section of some inconsequential civil society groups have in recent weeks been critical of Tsvangirai for the “undemocratic way” he handled the leadership battle between himself and some rebels in the opposition party led by Elton Mangoma.

Mangoma was recently suspended from the MDC-T party after he wrote a letter to Tsvangirai questioning his leadership capabilities and suggesting that the former trade union leader should step down as party leader.

Some CSO leaders were recently quoted criticising Tsvangirai while Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition board chairperson Dewa Mavhinga warned that civil society had no business in getting itself involved in MDC-T matters and stressed that the opposition party should solve its internal strife on its own.

In an invitation send out Monday, Tsvangirai’s Chief of Staff, Abisha Nyanguwo said the former Prime Minister will meet representatives of the pro-democracy groups at his Harvest House offices on Tuesday morning during a meeting which is scheduled to last for one hour.

Tsvangirai has in recent weeks been reaching out to his former allies to rejoin the MDC-T and forge a united alliance in fighting to wrestle political power from President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

His charm offensive has begun yielding some results as former allies such as Job Sikhala, Joubert Mudzumwe and Edward Mkosi have returned to rejoin and lend him support.

Tsvangirai has enjoyed the support of some influential CSO’s who in 2007 together with student bodies and churches mounted a formidable campaign to resolve Zimbabwe’s social, economic and political crisis. The campaign led to the staging of protests and the arrest and subsequent assault of the former ZCTU leader and other lieutenants which drew the ire of the regional and international community culminating in an African Union summit at which President Robert Mugabe’s administration was heavily censured.