Tsvangirai’s list of former lieutenants grows

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Tsvangirai’s list of former lieutenants continues to grow .  13 June 2014 by Clemence Manyukwe

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is counting his losses as the list of former lieutenants that are deserting him continues to grow. Since the party’s formation in 1999, he has been losing political friends at a higher rate than he could replace.

The most recent pronounced blow was his fallout with party secretary general Tendai Biti, who together with a sizeable number of senior party members such as Elton Mangoma are now leading a breakaway faction seeking leadership renewal.

Their differences have snowballed into parliament where some legislators no longer pay their allegiance to him, further shrinking the party’s influence in the legislative assembly.Welshman Ncube, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, David Coltart and others gave the MDC-T leader a wide berth way back in 2005 and efforts to bring them back under his “big tent” theory seem dead in the water.

The party’s treasurer-general Roy Bennett has long ceased raising funds for the party whose finances are reportedly in a precarious state as donors and western embassies desert him.

The majority of non-governmental organisations appear to be taking a similar stand.Even traditional backers like the Commercial Farmers Union and Raymond Majongwe’s Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe have publicly criticised his leadership.

There are those like former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, who once referred to Tsvangirai as a hero upon entering Zimbabwean politics in 2006, only to leave government last year saying he was a weak and indecisive leader.

But the biggest question is: How does a man, who aspires to lead a country squander all the goodwill previously shown to him by friends and backers alike in such a short political space?

Political analyst Ricky Mukonza yesterday said there is no doubt that Tsvangirai’s support base has been shrinking.

“There is no doubt that although Tsvangirai is still the most popular figure in opposition politics, his support base has been dwindling. What may be contested is the numbers that he has lost.

One needs to look at the following developments to realise that MT has lost:
one: the transformation of the NCA into a political party;
two: the manifestation of the renewal faction in the MDC,” said Mukonza.”In addition, scandals have continued to dent Morgan’s standing as an alternative leader.

The question that should also be asked is whether Tsvangirai’s party/faction in its current state is able to attract new voters or those on the fence.

The answer to this could be a ‘no.'”Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said some of the senior members that Tsvangirai has alienated have people who back them, and are most surely likely to shift their allegiance and support from Tsvangirai, further reducing his support base.

Mukundu said the MDC-T is also not engendering confidence as an alternative party through what citizens may see as its leader’s undemocratic actions.”Morgan Tsvangirai appears to have run full course and not in a position to strategise on the way forward after July 31. A party that has no strategic vision tends to turn internal rather than focus on the core business of winning power,” said Mukundu.


  • comment-avatar
    Tsuro 10 years ago

    A struggle is a long process….read any history, to achieve an objective it suffers casualties including loss of key persons. Read the history of the Hebrews to the promised land, our on struggle for independence etc.

    I must however hasten to say Zanu is not to be removed through elections and we are being naïve to blame this failure to Tsvangson. Zanu only gave a semblance of democracy to waiver international pressure to access aid.

    We look forward to the Mdhukus, Bennets ,Bitis, Makonis, Dumiso and of course Ncubes to do better than Tsvangson and win elections in Zimbabwe. They seem to be smarter as they gain ground as the author has observed.

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    You see us zimbos put our trust in man instead of in God. we get mislead every single time because we insist on elevating man. That is our downfall. No man should be elevated except God himself. When will we learn not to make idols of our politicians and church leaders?????

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    steve ray 10 years ago

    in an struggle you are likely to suffer loses be it army generals,general soldiers and even povo,look at zanu pf most of its allys deserted it during the land grabing but look today they have got new friends from east.we lost great people during the liberation war so its the same with morgan tsvangirai.he will get there when the time is ripe.widen up your research mr jounalist.

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    Gandhi Mudzingwa 10 years ago

    Go well Mr. Brian James.
    Mr Brian James I presume your decision to join the MDC 10 years ago was by voluntary choice. If there were circumstances that compelled you to join then I once more want to presume that they were not of the MDC’s making. While your company will be missed we still celebrate you voluntary action to resign. I believe that it is in keeping with the philosophy of the founding members of the party.
    Here, I take this opportunity to mention the handful of people that agreed on the philosophy of this post liberation formation. The late Gibson Jama Sibanda, the founding Chairman of the movement; the late Dr. Tichaona Augustus Mudzingwa, the founding Deputy chairman of the movement; Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the founding Secretary General; Paul Themba Nyathi, who, in exercising of his rights, declined to take up his designated position as Treasurer; Cde Dzinashe Machingura, aka Wilfred Mhanda, my mentor, who in his humility declined to take a front role in preference for an advisory capacity; and Webster Gwauya, aka Nenji, the founding secretary for international relations. In a technical capacity was a lady whose name I will not mention here in reverence of her desire for privacy; Timothy Kondo; and the author of this piece. My acknowledgements to them all for founding a solid philosophy on which the MDC would take a firm root. My selection of the above mentioned personalities is based on my belief that a political party is a reflection of its common philosophy as expressed by its founding members. A constitutive framework is nothing but an attempt, often a miserable one, to reflect that founding philosophy.
    There were others of course. Almost 17 years on, since 1997 when the philosophy was agreed, in our midst stands a healthy and strong participatory institution that continues to hold the nation’s hopes for achieving its aspirations; a completion of the unfinished business of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle. I stand here a very proud soul. I am not ashamed at all to beat my chest as I mention their names.
    In my opening remarks I had deliberately left out a couple of names. Following the constitutive framework the late Isaac Nzvidya (Matongo) became National Chairman. My fond memories of Matongo are based on what he would always preach that: “vana vembwa havasvinure musi umwe.” I will take the risk and translate thus; ‘In matters of conscience people see the light at different times.’ It is a loaded statement.
    Perhaps Matongo should have also preached about our diversity, which is the cornerstone of our association. Richard P. Feynman, the great guru of quantum electrodynamics, also celebrated diversity even as he dismissed psychoanalysis as not a science, equating it more to the practice of witch doctoring. In line with the motivations of the founding philosophy of the party I have resolved to fight the negative attributes instead of throwing in the towel while pointing fingers at others.
    As fate would have it I was later to be part of the technical team that silently steered the National Working People’s Convention (NWPC). I am visibly aware of the circumstances that motivated us to propose diversity as one of the founding values of the future Movement. For the record, by February 1999 Zimbabweans stood haunted by the ghost of 19 years of fascism under zanupf, 14 years of racism under Ian Smith, 75 years under the race based colonial white settler system and indeed centuries of male chauvinistic society. There were also issues of youths. This reflected our realities thrust upon us without choice which, formed both our painful and proud past. This past could not have been without negative impact on our diverse lot. The youths of Highfields, Makokoba and Dangamvura stood denied of an opportunity to acquaint with any other way of life than that which the environment foisted on them. The women were so brow beaten and made to content with second rate citizen status. The ghost of the past weighted heavily on our behaviour, disposition and perhaps even instincts. Violence was now an acceptable culture in the country, so was corruption, moral decadence, you name it all. Even potential leaders of the movement were equally victim to the environment.
    I recall in April 2007, accompanied by Toendepi Shonhe and the late Nhamo Musekiwa, the latter who was the body guard to our party president, Morgan Tsvangirai, seeking temporal refuge in South Africa. Once on the other side and having no means of survival we decided to contact our self-exiled National Treasurer, Bennett who was no residing there. The response was less than compassionate, and demonstrated not even a whiff of solidarity, as Bennett declared that he would not have anything to do with us. Separately though he called Shonhe whom he invited into his official sanctuary leaving Musekiwa and I to our own devices. Unfortunately, Musekiwa would pass on living a life of a destitute in the SA slums. On my part, I had left a family at near destitution levels. Dr Mudzingwa, my uncle had lost three vehicles in the service of the movement; a noble cause. At the same time I am aware of collections in my name by senior and junior members on both sides of the current quarrels within the party whilst I was in detention but that were never delivered to my family.
    Be that as it may, Bennett was to approach me later on in 2009, as I lay in hospital in Harare, and we made our peace. I was persuaded by the collective decision as the founding members not to be held captive by the past. I need to mention here that the founding members had also resolved to extend the same magnanimity to the current perpetrators of injustices. I want to believe that it was on this basis that dialogue would be possible from 2002 until finally Zimbabweans would have their own Constitution.
    The zanupf authoritarian system stood in the way of transformation as it continued to perpetuate this past. The founding members saw it as their generational obligation to provide leadership through the transformation that would detach us from the past. It was a responsibility that they could not shirk no matter how difficult. We could not see ourselves abandoning the ambuyas of Dotito, the impoverished children of Chivi and the marginalised minorities of Binga. And thus through the NWPC the MDC was sired. Emphasis was laid on the need to escape from being held captive by the past. Instead it was agreed to focus more on first, dismantling the authoritarian system so as to pave the way for availing an environment that would unravel opportunities in fulfilment of the aspirations of the Zimbabwean majority. We all applauded reconciliation as espoused in April 1980 but desired that it be founded on the inviolable principles of our diversity and tolerance.
    Matongo and the rest of us understood the journey ahead as enduring and long. It would entail traversing a complex minefield. Navigation was therefore not to be left in the hands of the faint hearted.
    In conclusion, I beseech you Brian James that you have fond memories of your time associating with the MDC family. Please cherish that they welcomed you into their midst and also entrusted you with the position of leadership. So let this parting be harmonious. Perhaps even wish us strength as we continue the marathon to its eventual end. I cannot say more.
    Gandhi Mudzingwa

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      Kevin Watson 10 years ago

      What a load of self aggrandizing twaddle. The people who have split with Tsvangirai have done so because he has forsaken democratic processes rather like Mugabe.

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      Senzachena 10 years ago

      Gandi MUDZINGWA, what you have writen is drivel, you of all people should know that Morgan T has lost the plot and deviated away from the founding principles of the MDC, which were excellent. You and a few others have assisted him in breakig just about every rule in the book to maintain a grip on the party. This includes the use of violence which you have been involved in since early days. Spare us your pretty but false words. You and many of those that surround you are thugs and no better than ZANU PF.

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    Davy Mufirakureva 10 years ago

    Who has ever done better under dictatorship. How can you mention cowards and sellouts to perform better.

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    Davy Mufirakureva 10 years ago

    Splits have been there in the history of Zimbabwe political parties zanupf not spared. It is legitimate to form your party and sell your ideas to the people and that is democracy. Board room coups are a firm of dictatorship because you are not chosen by party members.

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    bruce koffe 10 years ago

    the statement of partying peaceful is very good. truly every revolution has deserters. unfortunately revolution is a marathon, hundreds starts but just a handful finishes.

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    mpeiwa 10 years ago

    People in Zimbabwe should know that, MDC is not Tsvangirai, and Zanu Pf is not Mugabe. Only if we realize these mistakes,we will come out of the problem affecting our Country. Most of us Zimbabwean are suffering, not because we are born to suffer but because we mistaking the two as the saviours. Look at Mugabe, he is busy building his castle, just like his opponent Tsvangirai. Out of those 13 plus well educated people we feel we don’t have good leaders who could bring our Country on the world market. Brothers are fighting only to see that the two keep on rulings. Come on Zimbabwean, u are better of what u are labeled. Zimbabwe is not for Mugabe or Tsvangirai, but for all those born in there. Mugabe is not Zanu Pf, and Tsvangirai is not MDC, the two are opportunist workers who took advantage of our ignorance. The two are not messengers of God, as they are portrayed, they are both thieves guises in sheep skin. They do not people at heart, all what they have is divisible intention to keep their pots over flowing.

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    Democracy is born after a struggle and will never be practised during a war,you have to be tough to win the war even become undemocratic until you reach yr goal,You want to hand over the party to Zanu pf Using Democracy as away o neutralising it,All those who are leaving Mdc are not Democratic bt Power hungry as well,they are detractors hiding behind someone’s faults.Let them show us what they are capable of nt aiming at Tsvangirai leaving Mugabe.Mugabe and company when they diagree with Mdala wethu they formed their own Party and hit Mith Regime,leave Tsvangirai and focus at business on hand,removing ZanuPf

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    Roving Ambassador 10 years ago

    Leave Tsvangirai for what reason ,we must denounce all evil if Zimbabwe will prosper.

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      nesbert majoni 10 years ago

      So if Tsvangirayi is not good enough for you why not support a party of your choice. Are you forced to support him or the party he leads. Tsvangirayi is s leader of a struggle not a country.

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    jobolinko 10 years ago

    All cowards come and go who cares

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    jobolinko 10 years ago

    If they are right why cant they just form their parties and win againist mugabe ,why is it everything must have tsvangirais name even the failure of zanu is blamed on tsvangirai even the weather

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      Zimbos never fail to amaze.

      In 2008, the MDC under Tsvangirai won the election only for ZANU to resort to violence during the run-off.
      SADC then forced a GNU on the nation , as everyone knows.

      So what’s this about three failures?
      ZANU has been working full blast to destroy the MDC.
      Morgan has many weak points but he holds the people together.
      Everyone else contending to lead an opposition is tainted by ZANU links.
      Think about it fellow countrymen before jumping on the band wagon of destroying the only force with a chance of bringing change to our country.

      • comment-avatar
        nesbert majoni 10 years ago


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        LucyTT 10 years ago

        That does not mean we throw our life’s into the hands of a madman, Zimbabweans we should not be willing to throw our futures away by banking on a man who by all indications will be worse than Uncle Bob.

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    kariba 10 years ago

    What about if he is God’s anointed one.Will you oppose that and succeed.

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    kariba 10 years ago

    God has given you people of Zimbabwe a chance to see and compare the two leaders and you have to come up to a choice based on what you saw and experience. Its up to you to make that decision though you have to cast your bets wisely-Don’t forget that you have been earnestly asking God to deliver you from evil.history will tell you all and is clearly pasted on everyone’s heart. How does God answer our prayers.Zimbabwe,truely speaking you have pass through torrid time and at one point you earnestly asked God to help you out of the mess.DO YOU THINK THEN GOD DID NOT SHOW YOU THE WAY OUT AND BEGIN TO PROSPER.

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    kutongwa nonjazi 10 years ago

    Indeed Morgan is a Thorn in the flesh of Zanu PF. Siyai Tsvangirai nevanomuda, and join parties of your choice. Zvino Morgan tinomuda nyangwe mukapupa futi miromo nekupopota…we have the freedom of choice when it comes to political parties.