via Tsvangirai, Biti rift widens – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 12 June 2014 by Moses Matenga
CHANCES of reunification between the two warring MDC-T factions fronted by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his “fired” secretary-general Tendai Biti remain a pie in the sky as the two protagonists have continued to pour scorn at each other.
Tsvangirai and Biti parted ways in March this year after the latter accused the former Premier of unilateralism and breaching the opposition party’s founding principles.
Although MDC-T Guardian Council chairperson Sekai Holland yesterday insisted that her council had made some headway in trying to bring the parties to the negotiating table, Tsvangirai’s loyalists immediately issued a statement distancing themselves from the alleged unity talks.
Holland told NewsDay yesterday that she met Tsvangirai on Tuesday in a bid to facilitate the unity talks.
She also said her council had held several private talks with Biti to persuade his renewal team to rejoin the main MDC-T party.
“We are talking to everybody, but our role as the Guardian Council is not to mediate, but to give advice,” Holland said.
“Advice can be taken or rejected, but if you are in a revolution, hope is eternal and I am hopeful because there is no other way except for the leaders to unite and for all opposition parties to unite,” she said.
She castigated MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora for labelling Biti’s renewal team “agents of Zanu PF”, saying such statements frustrated her council’s efforts to reunite the two factions.
“The president (Tsvangirai) called me on Saturday, but I couldn’t meet him because of other commitments. I met him on Tuesday and we spoke. We had a nice discussion,” Holland said, but declined to give details of their meeting.
“I am free to talk to any member anytime and they are free to contact me anytime. He rang me on Saturday, but I couldn’t go and I went to see him on Tuesday and we discussed. It was internal and it was not about mediation,” the former National Healing co-minister said.
But in a statement, Tsvangirai’s followers ruled out any possibility of reunification saying they would not talk to “rebels who had openly spoken of their engagement with Zanu PF”.
“We note with concern the false narrative to the effect that Mrs Sekai Holland is leading mediation efforts between the MDC and the rebels led by the former secretary-general, Biti,” the statement read.
“The recent announcement by the rebels that they have formally charged the party president and will soon bring him before a disciplinary hearing is not consistent with any form of mediation either taking place or about to take place.
“We see no reason to reengage with people who have openly confessed to be working Zanu PF and state security agents,” the MDC-T said.