Harare, March 25, 2014 – Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai on Tuesday re-assured his erstwhile allies in the civil
society that the internal strife in his MDC-T party is over and the
party is working on finding a solution to the country’s political and
Tsvangirai has been wrangling with some of his top lieutenants chief
among them, national treasure-general Elton Mangoma, who was recently
suspended from the MDC-T party after he wrote a letter to the former
Prime Minister questioning his leadership capabilities and suggesting
that the former trade union leader should step down as party leader.
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 Mangoma.
But on Tuesday, the former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and
National Constitutional Assembly leader met with some influential civil
society organisations whom he briefed on the measures that the
leadership of his party had taken to mend the rift which had
threatened to split the opposition party which in 2008 handed
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party its first electoral
defeat since independence in 1980.
Informed sources who attended the meeting told Radio VOP that
Tsvangirai who addressed the CSO representatives in the company of his
party’s secretary-general, Tendai Biti, deputy President Thokozani
Khupe, party national organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, acting
treasurer-general Tapiwa Mashakada and party spokesperson Douglas
Mwonzora and several of his standing committee and the party’s
national executive members described the bickering as a “sad chapter
in the struggle for democracy” and assured the CSO’s leaders that the
rifts in the party had been mended.
The former trade union leader praised CSO’s for their contribution in
the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe and told them that the MDC-T does
not regard them as “stakeholders but as shareholders of the struggle.”
Tsvangirai disclosed that he had held a “heart to heart” discussion
with his party’s standing committee last Friday over the problems
bedeviling the once formidable opposition party which had helped
cement and refocus the struggle.
The MDC-T leader ruled out that the opposition party which in 2009
formed a coalition government with Mugabe which is largely credited
with arresting some of the country’s economic challenges, would split
but would remain united to confront a national crisis that Zimbabwe is
A split of the party, Tsvangirai said, would be a betrayal of the
people of Zimbabwe who have supported the opposition since its
formation in 1999.
In turn CSO leaders led by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
chairperson Dewa Mavinga told Tsvangirai that though they cannot be
seen to be involving themselves in the MDC-T internal politics, they
were “happy” that the opposition party was resolving its issues.
The insiders said Tsvangirai had assured the CSOs that his party
cannot “sustain a violent agenda” as it was a “victim of violence”
from Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.