Tsvangirai and Biti set for one-on-one talks

via Tsvangirai and Biti set for one-on-one talks | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Thursday, March 27, 2014

MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai and his secretary-general Tendai Biti have agreed to one-on-one talks, to deliberate the toxic issues that nearly split the party.

A highly placed source told SW Radio Africa that contrary to reports that Biti was lately snubbing rallies addressed by Tsvangirai, he in fact avoided them because of concerns for his safety.

The political rivals have publicly closed ranks after the party was shaken by three months of bitter infighting, triggered by a four page letter authored by the suspended deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, calling for Tsvangirai to step down. But privately there are ‘burning issues’ that are still to be resolved.

Like Biti, members of the faction that advocated for leadership renewal have also been snubbing recent party rallies, because of safety concerns. They said they felt their lives were in danger and didn’t want to expose themselves by attending rallies addressed by Tsvangirai.

A source who attended Tuesday’s meeting, where the feuding factions closed ranks, said their safety was of paramount importance if the truce was to hold.

The source said Tsvangirai and Biti’s indaba is likely to deal with all the outstanding issues like hate speech, violence, intimidation and unconstitutional meetings and suspensions.

‘The meeting between the two is set for any day now as Biti is expected to attend his first rally in weeks in Mkoba, Gweru next week Saturday. For Biti and other members of the renewal team to attend these rallies they need Tsvangirai’s assurances that no harm will visit them,’ the source said.

As an indication that Tsvangirai’s relationship with some members of the renewal team is thawing the MDC-T leader spent over three hours on Wednesday playing golf with Elias Mudzuri, the MP for Warren Park in Harare.

Mudzuri sparked the debate on the leadership renewal last year when he suggested ways he thought would serve the beleaguered party.

One of the scenarios he offered was that Tsvangirai steps down and becomes the godfather of the party, the “Nelson Mandela” of the labour-backed party.

Although he did not ask Tsvangirai to step down, Mudzuri seemed to favour putting the issue to an elective congress where people would determine their preferred candidates.

Tsvangirai has made inroads in attracting former foes to rejoin his party, following his call to pro-democratic forces to join hands and fight ZANU PF as a united opposition.

During their Gweru rally next week as many as 30 members, who stood as parliamentary candidates for the MDC-N, will announce their return to the MDC-T.

Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the MDC-T, wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday: ‘We are excited that the next few weeks will see over 30 leaders of one of the political parties coming to join hands with us.’

‘Faced with the unity of purpose in the MDC, ZANU PF and the state agents are now busy trying to undermine the party unity in the MDC. We are determined to make sure that the efforts by President Tsvangirai to unite the party bear fruit,’ he said.

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6 comments on “Tsvangirai and Biti set for one-on-one talks
  1. bruce koffe says:

    Unity is good, however MDC should be very careful about the so called returning of members. There is a need for the members to first declare publicly or internally what led to the split, are the matters that led to the breakaway now no longer existing. If they still do exist then chances are that these members when opportunities comes for splitting and weakening the party they will do so, this can be costly since it will be towards the next election of 2018. The old members returning should be accepted with much caution. The MDC must realize that its out of these same members that led to the failure of outright winning in 2008, and that costed Zimbabweans their freedom up to know. Hence much concern must be raised of over such selfish persons. They betrayed every one after introduction of senate due to greediness. It could be the same motive that they have realized that MDC N has no chance to assure them read food, hence coming to MDC with view of gaining power and perhaps run away again. The bottom line is they should be ordinary card holding members. Among the so called returning members MDC should be watchful of CIO infiltration in the name of returning.

    Between now and 2018, MDC need to be watchful and really get to the bottom of the independent breakaways that took place just before 2013 elections also now seeking returning to MDC.

    MDC must have some intelligence gathering that it should make about the same persons to ascertain bona fide returns. It may cost money or even its reputation but it will avoid future embarrassment especially towards 2018 when the same persons would think they have now gained popularity and run away and stand as independence or another breakaway party. What led them to come this time is not so much reconciliation of views but dismal failure to gain meaningful votes in the previous election, hence its external force not internal realization of mischief. They may not have repented though but embarrassed.

    MDC need to go deeper into analyzing the weakness or strength in the voter’s roll that enabled Nikivu to rig the elections to the extended that SADC, AU and Western was so confused as to whether or not to recognize the out. They must ensure that they must get intelligence that explains and answers the rigging that was done. If not then they should be rest assured that ZANU PF will never stop, and then they will be prepared to go for any election any time and use the same or similar technique to rig. To avoid that if MDC have no intelligent agencies in the structures of Registrar General, the CIO, the military and the electoral commission then they must start now. This may came at a very high cost. But it worth while. The MDC may need to focus on establishing that intelligence that really led to failure of 2013, what facilitated ZANU PF to rig and confuse the world world into believing that it was rigged but why at such massive figures. MDC did not loose so much due to structural problems within MDC but external factors outside MDC but existing in Zimbabwe, such as 100% influence of CIO, military, police, registrar general’s office, electoral commission, SADC complacency. This may attribute to 80% of why MDC lost, about 20% contribute to internally, the MDC, there were many splits and comfort zone of going to election before all the reforms were in place and failure to boycott when it was too clear that the process was too obvious tilted in favor of ZANU PF; The MDC was embarrassed in the previous election by not setting counter measures on the rigging. They noted the process while it was too late. ZANU PF respect no one, hence MDC must not respect any one but respect the principle of going int power which ever means, because that the only way forward. If it means hiring intelligence elsewhere let it. ZANU PF did it during the war, after and even now, Nikivu is one such.

  2. thembani says:

    Renewal is the only way forward. The party MDC has a lot of bad parasites that have accumilated over the years. Fumigation of these stubborn pests has to be done, from the top to the bottom.

  3. Rwendo says:

    Bk’s comments are well placed. From a distance it has always appeared that while the CIO infiltrates and disrupts opposition parties, the MDCs have not returned the favour adequately. They really need to focus on active not passive information gathering.

    With respect to elections, their plans need to also consider that even when they “won” in 2008,the results were first tampered with and – more significantly – resisted by the security forces. How would one deal with a more open coup than the stealth one of 2008?

    So, second to intelligence gathering, neutralisation of the security force complex is the other item that needs to be prioritized before elections in 2018. It was the same in 1980. The “hows” are open to debate but that debate must be held internally and a plan(s) formulated.

    Boycotting elections without adequate reforms was an option in 2013 but it is unlikely to be a viable option in 2018. The whole playing ground has changed.

  4. Roving Ambassador says:

    Koffe, very thought provoking. the issue is the Mdc lacks strategists that is in the intelligence sector, military sector, and in political science.
    This stems from the lack of competent leadership. You do not have to have a lot of degrees to know how to manage a party. It is wisdom and men management which you either have or not.
    The problem we have is our leaders will have dummy heads around them because they are less threatening to the crown. This is evident in Zanu thats why the economy is in the doldrums.
    So the call for leadership renewal is a genuine issue needed to for us to progress positively into the future.
    We should look beyond tribal, gender, race and homophobic lines in search of good managers of our country.
    The leader could be mixed race, could be white, who cares as long as the nation has bread on the table for all.
    Sanity must prevail.
    We are being led by mad people.

    • Sonofngwazi says:

      Well said I always read your posts, u r a very sensible man we need more pple like u
      Asi paLeadership renewal yeMDC let’s chill at present.

  5. ALLEN says:

    The goings on at harvest house clearly show that the MDC is no different from ZANU . If you criticize your leader you potentially could be assaulted or worse, killed. I thought the whole reason the MDC was born was to Forster democracy and transparency in Zimbabwe? All we see now is a disgusting clone of ZANU (pf)

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