via Workers rally behind Tsvangirai – DailyNews Live by Mugove Tafirenyika 30 APRIL 2014
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has thrown its weight behind MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, saying rebels attempting to topple the charismatic opposition leader were out of order.
The labour-backed MDC has been embroiled in a leadership row with a clique led by secretary-general Tendai Biti and former deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma demanding that Tsvangirai steps down before the 2016 expiry of his mandate.
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo yesterday told the Daily News that workers were solidly behind the Tsvangirai-led MDC leadership elected at the last elective congress in 2011.
Moyo said Biti, for years Tsvangirai’s most loyal lieutenant, and his co-conspirators, would not be invited to this year’s May Day celebrations.
He said the trade union was not backing any individual but were following procedure.
He said workers were finding it difficult to comprehend what he described as “the lawlessness we are reading in the press.”
Biti declared last weekend that he and his clique had unilaterally suspended Tsvangirai as party leader accusing him of stifling dissent, ignoring party structures, corruption, rigging internal elections, and creating his own cult of personality.
Tsvangirai was suspended together with his deputy Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo, his deputy Morgen Komichi, organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abednico Bhebhe, but they have all scoffed at the suspensions.
Tsvangirai was responsible, Biti’s clique concluded, for “the complete Zanufication” of the party.
Tsvangirai has since described the palace coup as a “non-event”, with thousands of his supporters camping at Harvest House, the party
headquarters, on Sunday to show solidarity with the veteran opposition leader.
The acrimony in the party was sparked when Mangoma wrote a damning letter to Tsvangirai in February in which he accused the former premier of having lost the moral standing to continue representing the party.
Mangoma also alleged maladministration and embezzlement of party funds by Tsvangirai notwithstanding the fact that he as deputy-treasurer was the custodian of the funds.
The ZCTU, together with the National Constitutional Assembly and other civic organisations formed the MDC on September 11, 1999.
Moyo said: “As workers we follow the rules. We believe that party structures should be given the opportunity to evaluate their leaders at congress and make a decision whether to give them a fresh mandate or to renew.
“We are not necessarily saying leaders must not be changed but it is the manner in which it is being done that we have a problems with. Colleagues might have genuine concerns but we are talking about issues of procedure here and workers have said they would never countenance such lawlessness.”