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leaders trade blows at party retreat
Mail and Guardian
September 06, 2013
the MDC came to the fore last week at the party’s strategic
retreat that was called by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to address
the crisis brewing in the party following its trouncing
in the July 31 elections.
officials publicly said the retreat was cordial, sources who attended
the national executive meeting at Mendel Training Centre in Harare’s
Marlborough suburb told the Mail & Guardian that national executive
members were furious and openly accused standing committee members
of being responsible for the party’s loss.
committee is chaired by Tsvangirai and is responsible for the day-to-day
administration of the party. It reports to the national executive.
It also consists
of Tsvangirai’s deputy Thokozani Khupe, Lovemore Moyo (national
chairperson), Tendai Biti (secretary general), Tapiwa Mashakada
(deputy secretary general) Morgan Komichi (deputy national chairperson),
Nelson Chamisa (organising secretary), Abednico Bhebhe (deputy organising
secretary), Elton Mangoma (deputy treasurer general), party spokesperson
Douglas Mwonzora, women’s assembly chairperson Theresa Makone
and youth chairperson Solomon Madzore.
most daggers were aimed at Chamisa, whose duty they said it was
to ensure party structures remained intact during the polls.
accused of imposing candidates and manipulating the internal voting
system to ensure that Tsvangirai’s preferred candidates won.
out strongly in Chamisa’s defence during the meeting. The
MDC-T leader said all leaders should take responsibility for the
election results and not point fingers at individuals.
senior party officials who spoke to the M&G in confidence believe
that the party’s candidates were not necessarily the best
it had in all cases and cited the example of Dangamvura-Chikanga
constituency, where Tsvangirai allegedly insisted on former minister
Giles Mutsekwa being the candidate even though human rights lawyer
Arnold Tsunga was more popular.
they said, ordered Tsunga to withdraw from the race but he refused
and won the constituency.
He may face
disciplinary action for defying Tsvangirai.
are many cases of imposition but perhaps the most prominent is in
Makoni Central where Simba Makoni was imposed after his party, Mavambo
Kusile Dawn, reached an electoral union with Tsvangirai. While it
was good to have such a pact, neither Tsvangirai nor Chamisa sought
to explain to the provincial executive and people in the constituency
about their decision until it was too late,” said a national
result, the provincial executive supported Patrick Sagandira, who
had won the party’s primaries, instead of Makoni. The vote
was split, resulting in Zanu-PF’s Patrick Chinamasa winning.”
to social media
roasted in the meeting Chamisa on August 31 took to social media
to vent his frustration.
been harassed, attacked, imprisoned, blackmailed by competitors,
unjustly criticised, betrayed and undermined by friends and comrades,
poked, prodded, and stuck like a prize pork roast. But, in the end,
I know that He who is in me is greater than the one in the world,”
he wrote on his Facebook page.
In a phone interview,
Chamisa denied that he had been grilled, saying his Facebook posting
had nothing to do with the retreat. He referred all questions to
Mwonzora, who said his party was united and still solidly behind
Tsvangirai and other leaders.
not a stormy meeting. It was cordial and frank because people spoke
their minds but there were no daggers pointed at Chamisa or anyone,”
with our leader [Tsvangirai] that there should not be finger pointing.”
who attended the meeting said although all national executive members
agreed that although Zanu-PF did not play by the book there was
a general consensus that there were serious inadequacies on the
part of the MDC leadership, particularly the national executive,
which contributed to the loss.
of the matter is that we were outwitted by Zanu-PF and we will not
be taken seriously if we keep complaining without highlighting where
we were found wanting as a party,” said a senior party official.
clear that this time around Zanu-PF was better prepared. Their structures
were intact and they made sure that their supporters were registered.
Zanu-PF prepared for the elections since 2009, while we were enjoying
the trappings of power in government.”
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