Bennett abandons Tsvangirai

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Bennett abandons Tsvangirai.  12 June 2014 by Clemence Manyukwe

MDC-T treasurer-general Roy Bennett has abandoned the faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai following power struggles ignited by calls for leadership renewal.

Bennett, who lives in self -imposed exile in South Africa, is unlikely to seek re-election as treasurer-general when Tsvangirai’s group holds its congress in October.

A senior MDC-T official told Chronicle that should he decide to contest, he was unlikely to get any votes.

Bennett is among the first MDC-T members to call for leadership renewal in the party in the aftermath of last year’s general polls that saw the formation losing to a resurgent Zanu-PF, even in some of its urban strongholds. He announced at some point that he had quit the party, but later retracted the statement.

Tsvangirai has brushed aside calls for him to step down and divisions over the matter reached a crescendo after Bennett’s deputy Elton Mangoma wrote a letter to the former trade unionist accusing him of a number of misdemeanours.

Mangoma’s subsequent suspension triggered a chain of events that ultimately saw him and party secretary-general Tendai Biti announcing that they had suspended Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai’s faction responded by summarily firing Biti, Mangoma and others. It then appointed Tapiwa Mashakada and Theresa Makone to act in Biti and Mangoma’s portifolios pending the October congress.

However, sources said since the fallout, Bennett is no longer active in the MDC-T.

MDC-T national executive member Charlton Hwende said that Bennett was contributing nothing to the party, adding that during their executive meetings, he has “never seen a cent in the financials being attributed to Roy Bennett’s fundraising, not even a cent.”

Hwende said that all the party’s finances are now being handled at Harvest House, with no role for the treasurer-general.

He predicted that Bennett would lose at the forthcoming congress should he seek to contest as he is likely funding the party’s renewal team led by Biti and Mangoma.

“From his past statements, it’s clear that he either sympathises with the rebels or he is their godfather and funder. I can confirm that his post will among others up for grabs. I am not sure if he is going to stand again but should he decide to stand, he will have a tough time convincing a voter like me who voted for him last congress,” said Hwende.

He denied that Mangoma was charged for calling for leadership renewal saying Tsvangirai was very clear that all members and structures were free to debate the issue.

He said although Bennett had participated in the debate, he was not sanctioned as his handling of the matter was different to what Mangoma had done.

“The national council only charged Mangoma for bringing the party into disrepute after he then took an internal debate to various radio stations and newspapers. If he had debated internally, he could still be a member of the MDC, that is why no action was taken on Bennett and even (Elias) Mudzuri who expressed similar sentiments,” added Hwende.

In an separate interview, the spokesperson of the renewal team Jacob Mafume said he could not comment on the Bennett issue.

“We will allow Bennett to speak for himself, but what we know is that there are a lot of Zimbabweans, including Bennett who are yearning for a renewal, a renewal in the economy, a renewal in our education, a renewed Zimbabwean promise,” said Mafume.

Bennett could not be reached for comment.





  • comment-avatar
    Dhonodzo 8 years ago

    MDC made the mistake of supporting Tsvangirai for a 3rd term which is contrary to MDC constitution

  • comment-avatar
    Changamire Dombo 8 years ago

    Be nice to all people you meet on your way up, they are likely to be the same people you will meet on your way down. MT thinks otherwise!!!!

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    kutongwa nonjazi 8 years ago

    Imi siyanayi naTsvangirai mhani. There is no compusion in supporting Tsvangirai. We love MDC-T out of choice. VeZanu ,Zunde, MDC-Rebels, sorry renewal…all do so by choice. You go ahead form your own parties and those who want will support you.

    • comment-avatar

      It is that inability to accept even constructive criticism which has seen Zim political Parties become autocratic and lose support. It does not mean that people who criticise hate your Party. Why are these Party supporters so defensive? Jeez!We can not all be “Yes men”

      • comment-avatar

        I agree that we should not all be “yes men”.
        But we should not be blind, either.

        Biti and Co. have been working with ZANU, for yonks, all the while purporting to toe the MDC line.

        Need I say more?

        • comment-avatar

          Ngoto Zimbwa and Kutongwa, I agree with your sentiments. I realize that that some have fallen for the ZPF trick – make them focus on and smear MT, the real substantive threat to its hegemony; let them take their eyes off the ball! Criticism is okay but some is just frivolous to make for a serious, united opposition that must, of necessity, form a formidable phalanx against the ZPF juggernaut! Hwende’s assertion about Mudzuri and Bennett regarding the way they handled themselves in calling for change in MDC is quite right and mature.

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        Ruramai 8 years ago

        You are dead right Lucy. They all follow the same script of building personality cults.

        The point is, the MDC has a goal. That goal is unseati Zanu p.f. They have failed to do so under this one leader who has had a go at it for 15 years. But hey, he should stay put because Zanu p.f. rigs elections. The question is, what will he do differently? How come these loyalists don’t even realise that in 2018 he will have been at the helm for 19 years and will be 65?

        Tsvangirai has failed to even deal with the issue of violence in his party. He was even naive enough to go into an election without a voters’ roll. Why shouldn’t he be criticized publicly?

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          Criticism by the public is quite justifiable but when people who have been top advisers of the MDC leader and his inner circle badmouth him and create the impression that they were not part of the decisions that were being made, is hitting below the belt. These Bitis were part of it, they were key advisers! To make matters worse, they now are making MT the main target instead of the coterie of kleptomaniacs and sycophants that have presided over the ruination of the country for 34 years!

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        Ruramai 8 years ago

        Ngoto, I take it you also believe Tsvangirai has been working with western governments to undermine Zim, right? That’s what Zanu p.f. has been saying for 15 years, so it has to be true.

        I guess it’s also true that iti is working with Zanu p.f. because you say so.

        Elizabeth sought protection from Zanu p.f. after she moved to out. Why do you think she did that? Leocardia?

        My point is, it is nonsensical to label people sell outs simply because they have decided to point out glaring weaknesses in the leader. We need to grow up and tackle the real issue here; monumental failure of leadership. Its been 15 years Ngoto.

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          I agree Morgan has many weaknesses and needs to be replaced.
          When those seeking to replace him have links with zanu, I smell a rat.

          Biti has openly admitted to working with zanu ever since GNU.
          And we all know what zanu is, the EVIL thats destroying our country. How can anyone representing those who are suffering, those who have lost loved ones, under zanu be such a traitor?

          Going into the GNU was a monumental mistake and Biti was involved in the crucial discussions.
          It allowed zanu to regroup.

          We take our eyes off the ball that is ZANU at our peril.
          ZANU knows how to divide and rule.

          • comment-avatar
            Ruramai 8 years ago

            Ngoto, you need to go back to the news paper reports before the GNU agreement was signed. Biti openly said he was not prepared to be part of a government headed by Mugabe after Tsvangirai signed the deal. It took a number of senior MDC officials to persuade Biti to join government. These are facts you can check for yourself or you can phone Eric Matinenga.

            Even if you want to say Biti was partly to blame, who was the leader? The buck stops with Tsvangirai. He read the GNU document and was happy with it after he gave in to Mbeki. He signed it because he couldn’t wait to be called Prime Minister. Now he lives in a 4 million dollar mansion and can even to afford to pay off women like Leocardia to get them off his back.

            I am not sure Biti’s plan of a grand coalition will work. Would you please enlighten me on the evidence of Biti working with Zanu p.f. I hope you are not referring to the audio tape reported in the daily news which they have so far failed to put in the public domain so we can listen for ourselves.

            • comment-avatar

              Ruramai, sometimes sound like an old,broken gramophone record! You seriously believe MT was making all these decisions alone? Don’t you think the ‘remanyowa’ team were neck deep as well for the spoils of GNU?

  • comment-avatar
    Stingray 8 years ago

    Who is abandoning who here?

  • comment-avatar
    Davy Mufirakureva 8 years ago

    Its Bennet who was abandoned. Is Biti’s party called mdct renewal team its absurb. What do they renew when they were fired. You will Biti and others saying they are leaving mdct yet they were fired. Leave Tsvangirayi and his supporters alone people are not forced into the party.

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    Bennet can go and hang if he thinks his money should decide on who should leads MDC! Those who want to renew what ever the want to renew must do that in silence and leave MDC T alone with its loyal members. Why should these educated but not learned idiots try to wrestle power outside the constitution? I resect Mutambara that he has seen that he was a novice in politics and varnished.

    • comment-avatar
      Kevin Watson 8 years ago

      What part of democracy do you not understand? When Tsvangirai forced the decision about the senate on the party it led to a split. Now because he refuses to accept responsibility for the debacle at the last elections and there are those who believe a leadership renewal is in order he wants to split the party again. Mugabe and ZANU PF are laughing at you. Tsvangirai wants, like Mugabe, to be leader for life. He does not have what it takes to lead the fight against ZANU PF he is naïve in the extreme. I heard from a well known South African personality who invited Tsvangirai to lunch at his home in South Africa when he was recuperating from the assault by ZANU PF police in 2007/8, that Tsvangirai is a nice man but hopelessly naïve and no understyanding of economics. This South African like myself has met luminaries like Thabo Mbeki. Without leadership renewal and a commitment to democracy MDC T will become a footnote in Zimbabwe’s disastrous history.

      • comment-avatar

        Mbeki a luminary?
        His policies on Zimbabwe bordered on the lunatic leading to the further entrenchment of ZANU and our present mess.

        • comment-avatar
          Ruramai 8 years ago

          Yes Ngoto, Mbeki’s policies on Zim were quite unfair to us but guess what? He understood economics and was so focused on his country’s interests that he knew keeping Mugabe in power meant the total collapse of our economy.

          If you walk into any supermarket you will see that we have become South Africa’s backyard. Not a single item is manufactured in this country and the South Africans are smiling all the way to the bank, thanks to Mbeki. That, Ngoto, makes him a luminary. He left a strong economy.

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            If having millions of aliens clogging up one’s labour market and causing civil and xenophobic arrest is understanding economics and politics, then I am with you.

            Okay, there are South African goods on Zim shelves but if the people’s buying power is diminishing by the day, those goods will stay on them shelves.

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      Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

      Mahlaba, what evidence do you have that bennett is involved with bankrolling Biti apart from the nonsense spouted by Tsvangirai’s spokesmen?? Please use your head. Bennett himself does not speak at all in this article which has a misleading headline. If Bennett was to join Biti I believe he would have said so already. I believe he will not join any of them because he sees the rotten nature of current politics in Zimbabwe.

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    With these splits,zanu hamuibate chinhu guys,you are jockeying with pple

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    jobolinko 8 years ago

    Bennet is not abandoning tsvangirai ,he was too quick to associate himself with a splinter group ,because things did not work according to plan ,the safe route is give up period.

  • comment-avatar
    ntaba 8 years ago

    When Zanu refused to install Bennett as a Deputy Minister in the GNU – what did the MDC do? Rush off to Zanu (like prostitutes) and take up positions in the government? Can we describe or define endorsing a Zanu Government, a Zanu election or a Zanu Constitution while Bennett was imprisoned with corpses in Mutare as “constructive” or “Pachedu”? I am not yet convinced.

  • comment-avatar

    Tsvangirai has failed MDC, three elections and nothing, even if these were or not rigged. The partyn needs new ideas and strategy otherwise it will be the same as the opposition they are trying to knock out, i.e. hannging on to the past as you have nothing new to offer.

    • comment-avatar

      I agree that restrategizing is an imperative but to simply say MDC failed the electorate three times is quite falls. We all know, you Zim 1 included, what has been happening in what passes for elections in our country!

  • comment-avatar

    But, wait a minute! The heading of the article is deceiving! When, in this article does it unequivocally show that Bennett said he is abandoning the party? Haa!

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    Shenanigans 8 years ago

    Bob is on his wayout and so is Morgan.None of these personalities are capable of running Zims under their present party structures.Real democratic rule is long overdue.Come on Simbi,try again the country needs men like u to convince this stupid polarised electorate that there is a better way forward

  • comment-avatar
    Straight Shooter 8 years ago

    Just close down Zimbabwe. Its all over – nothing will ever come right over there. Stop wasting your time!!