Confusion as MDC-T rebels “suspend” Tsvangirai

via Confusion as MDC-T rebels “suspend” Tsvangirai | SW Radio Africa by Tererai Karimakwenda on Monday, April 28, 2014

The chaos that has engulfed Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC-T party reached a new peak this weekend as a faction that has been calling for leadership renewal held a meeting and voted to “suspend” party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and several other top party officials.

Led by secretary general Tendai Biti, who has been at the forefront of calls to replace Tsvangirai, the meeting was held Saturday at the Mandel Training Centre in Harare and attended by many party officials, including Elton Mangoma, Solomon Madzore and Sam Sipepa Nkomo, who chaired the meeting.

The MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora wasted no time responding to the ‘rebels’ actions, dismissing the meeting itself as “unconstitutional” and nullifying the resolutions made. Mwonzora immediately announced that they would notify parliament to remove all ‘rebel’ MPs who had attended the ‘unconstitutional and illegal meeting.’

But Sipepa Nkomo told SW Radio Africa that the meeting was legally constituted and Biti had the power to convene such a gathering. He said the meeting was attended by chairpersons from 9 out of the 12 provinces, as well 138 out of 176 National Council members who qualified to vote. This was enough to provide a quorum.

Sipepa Nkomo explained that the agenda was to discuss the current situation in the party, especially the violence, suspensions, abuse of power by top leaders and the economic crisis that has gripped the country.

The delegates voted to suspend party president Morgan Tsvangirai, vice president Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo, deputy national chairman Morgen Komichi and spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora. Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abednico Bhebhe were also suspended.

Sekai Holland, who served as Minister for Healing and Reconciliation in the unity government, was appointed the interim president.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora provided conflicting figures on the ‘illegal’ meeting, insisting in a statement that only 33 out of 195 members of the National Council had attended Biti’s meeting. He described the gathering as “an attempt at an awkward coup d’état by people who are apparently afraid to face the electorate at congress”.

The statement also alleged that the meeting was part of “a sustained programme of both overt and covert operations involving ZANU PF, state security agents, Welshman Ncube and the Zimbabwe Institute”. As such “no lawful and binding resolutions can derive from it.” (The Zimbabwe Institute is a donor funded, political think tank that “seeks to facilitate dialogue between the political parties in Zimbabwe, and thereby support a culture of multi-partyism in the country.”)

Sipepa Nkomo dismissed the allegations, saying: “Mwonzora has stooped down too low. During the liberation war Ian Smith saw communists behind every bush. Now they are seeing Welshman Ncube everywhere and it’s a cover-up for their own failings.”

Zimbabweans following these events were left with much confusion as the two camps both used the party constitution to defend their actions. Both have threatened legal action and insist their MPs in parliament are safe from removal.

The National Standing Committee of the Tsvangirai camp met on Monday to try to map a way forward. Meetings of the national executive and council were scheduled for Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), the labour group that was key to the formation of the MDC-T and Tsvangirai’s strongest ally, moved to support him and to dismiss the rebels, saying they had “taken the road to political oblivion”.

Despite many attempts we were unable to contact Tendai Biti for comment.

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8 comments on “Confusion as MDC-T rebels “suspend” Tsvangirai
  1. Sarurawako says:

    As a nation my dear friends, we hace gone back another 3 years. Time for ZUNDE to take over leadership. At least they are not politicians like the rest. They are just simple people trying to live simple lives and bring hope for everyone else

  2. JOHNSON says:

    WHETHER TSVANGIRAI HAD HIS SINS THE WAY BITI ET AL DID THEIR ATTEMPTED COUP SMACKS OF DANGEROUS PERSONAL AMBITION FOR THREE MAIN REASONS.
    1. REFUSING TO WAIT FOR CONGRESS
    2. NOT CONSIDERING THE GLOBAL EFFECTS OF DIVISION CAUSED BY THEIR IRRESPONSIBLE ACTIONS ESPECIALLY FOR ZIMBABWEAN MASSES.
    3. BY PROXY OR DESIGN THEY ARE SERVING ZANU PF OBJECTIVES AND OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE BOUGHT.
    THEY SHOULD HAVE LEFT PERSONAL AMBITIONS OUT AND SHOULD HAVE CONSIDERED THE SUPERORDINATE GOAL OF PARTY STABILITY. IT IS NOT WRONG TO AIR YOUR VIEWS OR GO FOR HIGHER OFFICE IN MDC BUT THE TIMING AND PROCEDURE CONFIRM BITI’S HIDDEN AMBITIONS HE HAS BEEN SHOWING THIS ALL ALONG. LIKE WELSHMAN HE MUST JUST VANISH. MDC IS PROPERTY OF ZIMBABWEANS. NO LETS TEACH BITI A LESSON BY NOT SUPPORTING HIS PRO OPPOSITION INSURRECTION.

    • Ruramai says:

      Johnson, what is your view on the violence that has rocked the MDC at various stages of its history?

      Before the 2005 elections there were shameful images of a bloodied and battered Trudy Stevenson among others who had been beaten by MDC youths.

      In 2011 we witnessed primitive scenes of MDC-T youths in running battles against each other on the streets of Bulawayo just before national party elections. Advocate Matinenga was so appalled that he forced Tsvangirai’s hand in setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate the root causes. The agreement was that whoever was found responsible would be dismissed from the party.

      The commission established that several senior party officials among them the party deputy president Thokozani Khupe were responsible. Needless to say nothing happened. Advocate Matinenga decided he could no longer continue to be part of the rot.

      Then a few months ago we saw pictures of a disheveled Mangoma with his shirt torn and his glasses broken. I do not know whether or not Mangoma violated the constitution but what most of us ordinary Zimbabweans do not want is a party leadership that uses violence as a means of maintaining its grip on power. How come no one has ever been dismissed from the party for these acts of violence?

      Sure, we have heard Tsvangirai condemn violence. But then again, so has Mugabe. When will it end?

      • Itayi says:

        But ruramai the facts are all but clear for all to see now. The MDC T simply did not want to wash their dirty linen in public.
        1) No body knows who really hired those youths that yanked Mangoma’s shirt and broke his spectacles.
        2) But events of the past few months have brought out extremely interesting facts.
        3) We learn that from the media that Tsvangirai and team are so broke that they cannot even afford a coke and a bun.
        4) The remaining employees at harvest house are reported to have gone without salary since December and Tsvangirai himself reduced to a beggar to keep body and soul together. Surely would he have found the money to hire youths to do violence on Mangoma who in himself is not a saint.
        5) We learnt that the same Mangoma surrounds himself with bodyguards that appear well fed and well paid.
        6) We learnt that money in the MDC T is the exclusive domain of the Mangoma as deputy treasurer and Tendai Biti as the secretary general.
        7)We also learnt that the Biti group just bought new offices at the price of $300 000 in the posh suburb of Milton Park. Since in Zimbabwe currently no body would risk a non cash transaction we assume and agree with the blogger Mandy that they bought it for cash.
        8) We have learnt that Roy Bennett, Gift Chimanikire and Welshman Ncube trained over 600 youths militarily in South Africa in the middle of the last decade.
        9) So who really has the wherewithal to hire youths in the MDC T if not Mangoma, Tendai Biti and Roy Bennett.
        10) We also learn from various sources that Bennett, Mangoma and Biti had bought the support of many of the MDC T MPs and everything went wrong at the last minute. The public relations of Biti, Mangoma and Bennett we also learn is just atrocious. Other facts that have been on the internet I have forgotten.
        11)What is clear here is that it is not Tsvangirai who hires these youths thugs but it can only be between these other three Biti, Mangoma and Bennett that the violence in the MDC T is emanating from. But as I have said chakafukidza dzimba matenga and Tsvangirai just fears to say the truth lest he be accused of selling out.

        • Ruramai says:

          Itai, I listed the instances of violence that happened within the MDC since 2005. You choose to zero on on the Mangoma incident only. I do not get your point because I have not come across most of the stuff you list as proven facts. Please provide your sources because what you list are in fact criminal activities whose publication would be of interest to the public.

          I do not support Mangoma or any of the protagonists involved in the power struggle within the MDC. I just hate people who use violence to stay in power.

          I wouldn’t have thought that a man who resides in a $4 million mansion, paid huge amounts of cash as lobola for Leocardia and Elizabeth, paid off $300 000 to get rid of Leorcadia, cannot account for the millions he took from both the Reserve bank and the Ministry of Finance in respect of renovations to the mansion can remotely be considered a beggar.

          From what I have googled about Mangoma, he is in fact a chartered accountant with a thriving firm called Corporate Excellence. This is public knowledge.

    • Mandy says:

      Aptly described Johnson. Biti and Mangoma set a dangerous precedent that is so ridiculous and analogous to the MDC T National Council meeting to suspend the President and First Secretary of Zanupf, Robert Gabriel Bellamin Mugabe. This is the highest level of Biti anarchism. I aver that Biti enters the guinness book of records as the worst political strategist of the 21 st century.

  3. Bhora says:

    OK, so let me get this straight;

    According to MT and the MDC-T, this is a plot by the following actors

    - Zanu PF
    - “Rhodies” (I find the term racist and unacceptable, but anyway…)
    - State Security Agents
    - Foreign governments

    What an unlikely alliance of conspirators…

    • Ruramai says:

      Indeed Bhora. Isn’t just fascinating that Mugabe consistently accuses Tsvangirai of being a puppet of the West working tirelessly to reverse “the gains” of the liberation struggle” – whatever they are since the majority of the population lives in abject poverty.

      Now Tsvangirai is also seeing Zanu p.f. spies everywhere. Interestingly, he is one of the major beneficiaries of Zanu p.f. corruption living as he does in a $4 million mansion and can confidently set thugs upon opponents.

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