via UK, SA branches back MDC Renewal 02/06/2014 NewZimbabwe
MDC-T supporters fed-up with Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership held meetings in South Africa and the United Kingdom at the weekend as the leadership renewal campaign gains traction in the party’s external structures.
In the UK, Renewal supporters met in Luton on Saturday and established a taskforce to help see the idea through.
Eight of the MDC-T’s UK branches attended the meeting according to Lovemore Mazivisa of Renewal Team UK.
“The meeting was attended by members who sympathise with the idea that the party needs leadership renewal; those who believe that Morgan Tsvangirai has had his chances and someone else must take over to carry forward the fight for democratic change in Zimbabwe.”
In South Africa, supporters gathered in Johannesburg’s Diepsloot suburb. They denounced Tsvangirai and called on the former premier to step down.
A war of attrition has rocked Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition party following its crushing defeat in last year’s general elections.
Tsvangirai and his supporters claim the vote was a monumental fudge.
But a section of the party is now pressing for Tsvangirai’s ouster, accusing him of failing to topple President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF from power and using violence against internal opponents.
Tsvangirai has refused to step down and denies losing elections to Mugabe. He accuses the Zanu PF leader of being a serial cheat who uses violence and vote rigging to hold onto power.
Even so, argues the renewal group, one cannot be cheated by the same opponent in three different but successive instances and still insist that they are the right person to lead the party to victory at the next contest.
In a statement issued after the Luton meeting, the UK Renewal team said: “With Tsvangirai as our leader we have been like eggs for fifteen years and it seems we will remain thus as long as he is the leader.
“What we are saying therefore is that we are not willing to go on indefinitely being just ordinary, decent eggs. We must hatch or go bad and by all means that is how life should be.
“We do not see it as democracy to continue to give Tsvangirai endless chances to quench his own thirst for power the same way the leader of the regime the MDC was formed to unseat has done.”
The group dissociated itself from a statement issued by members of the UK executive backing Tsvangirai saying the group was illegitimate, having been imposed through fraudulent elections presided over by Lovemore Moyo and Theresa Makone in 2011.
Tsvangirai, the group added, was outfoxed by Mugabe during the coalition administration and completely ignored the party’s reform mandate and agenda as he enjoyed the trappings of power.
They also took issue with the leader’s “personal indiscretions and lack of restraint, lack of clear judgment and a life of extravagant taste which do not resonate with the ordinary folk.
“The conduct of massive ,irregular and unmitigated elections in and outside Zimbabwe which included imposition of candidates ,suspension of office holders without due process, and lack of clear direction in many policy areas.
“The MDC UK missing funds which were investigated and the report shoved under the carpet totally against the spirit of article 3 of the MDC constitution which is clear on the fact that the MDC is a Social democratic party whose core values are solidarity, justice ,equality, liberty, freedom, transparency, accountability and a servant leadership.”
SA backing renewal … Some of the MDC-T members who attended Jo’burg meeting
In South Africa, NewZimbabwe.com attended the Johannesburg meeting where the Renewal Team’s Brett Holley explained: “We are advocating for a movement which moves along with the people.
“Few people realise that Tsvangirai is no different from Mugabe. Tsvangirai should have refused the US$4million government house and stayed at his Strathaven property and that money used in more pressing issues.
“Tsvangirai is no longer the same Tsvangirai we knew. What can he do with a Zanu PF wife, a Zanu PF father in law, a Zanu PF farm, Zanu PF riches? He even tried to impose Giles Mutsekwa and block the people’s choice Arnold Tsunga in Manicaland.
Innocent Jeke, suspended from the MDC-T South Africa executive, said the party was not going anywhere under Tsvangirai’s leadership.
”Tsvangirai and his crew benefited in terms of posts in the unity government and they became comfortable and went to sleep. There is now horsewhipping in MDC.
“We do not hate Tsvangirai but love him and think he has to step aside and put in his place a person who is hungry for freedom. We are doing door to door campaigns and people are welcoming the renewal team’s ideology.”
Jeke also accused Tsvangirai of imposing his friends as candidates for Parliament in the last elections, citing the likes of former DJs Eric Knight and Ezra Sibanda. He said Tsvangirai is no longer with the people.
The Renewal Team also claimed that there was widespread violence against their members in Johannesburg and other parts of South Africa.
”Zimbabweans in South Africa are tired and want democracy to return to Zimbabwe. I decided to show my position and fight to change things in the MDC-T,” added Angeline Ngwenya, the group’s interim organising secretary.