via Strife-torn MDC-T defers crucial meeting 13/11/2013 by Richard Chidza NewZimbabwe
THE MDC-T has deferred a crucial standing committee meeting to Thursday as deep divisions threaten to boil over regarding ex-premier Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership of the opposition party.
Among other issues, the meeting of the party’s top decision-making body was also supposed to receive a report on the errant councillors who defied the leadership in recent mayoral polls with some even voting for Zanu PF candidates.
Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the postponement.
“The National Standing Committee is no longer meeting today (Wednesday). It will now be meeting (on Thursday) and this was only done, I think, to accommodate other members who could not be available,” Mwonzora said.
He could not be drawn into revealing whether there are other reasons for the cancellation.
Tsvangirai last month instituted a four member probe team to investigate seven party councillors who allegedly defied a party directive on mayoral nominees.
Mwonzora said the Shepherd Mushonga-led probe team had finalised its work and would table its report at the meeting.
“The team asked for time to finish its probe and they have finished. They will bring the report to the Standing Committee for consideration,” said Mwonzora.
Those under investigation include Mutare mayor, Tatenda Nhamarare, and Gweru’s Hamutendi Kombayi.
The meeting will be the committee’s first since former Harare Mayor Elias Mudzuri declared his intentions have a shot at toppling veteran trade unionist and charismatic founding leader Tsvangirai who has been at the helm for 14 years.
Mudzuri is allegedly part of a faction that wants Tsvangirai deposed as leader following the MDC-T’s disastrous performance in the July 31 elections although the party claims the vote was rigged.
In an opinion piece published in a local weekly Mudzuri added to growing chorus calling on Tsvangirai official Elias Mudzuri said on Sunday, joining a growing chorus of rebellion to “ceremoniously” step down and become the “Mandela of the party”.
Tsvangirai has encouraged “discussion” of leadership renewal in the party and says he is not opposed to stepping down if that is the wish of the general membership.
He however, insists on serving out is current term and indicated he will offer himself for re-election at the party’s next elective congress in 2016.