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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
MDC-T rocked by dissent
Sibanda, SW Radio Africa
facing his shock electoral defeat at the hands of Robert Mugabe’s
Zanu-PF, MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai is finding himself in unfamiliar
territory, his party rocked by dissent and facing stronger calls
to step down as leader.
of internal dissent against Tsvangirai, as well as serious efforts
by his political opponents to organise an early congress to oust
him, come amid early strategising for the 2018 polls.
opposition party can iron out its differences and fend off growing
challenges to Tsvangirai’s continued leadership one thing
is clear; Tsvangirai still enjoys massive grassroots support and
will be difficult to dislodge.
told SW Radio Africa that Tsvangirai is not against an early congress
but is worried its outcome could leave the party deeply divided.
spokesman Douglas Mwonzora quashed reports the party might entertain
the possibility of having an early congress next year to deal with
the leadership question.
He said calls
for an early congress were coming from a small minority of people
and that it does not bother them, as party members are entitled
to express their views.
a democratic party and people can say what they want as long as
it is said at the correct forums. Unfortunately the issue of early
congress was settled by the national executive, standing committee
and national council which are the governing organs of the party.
bodies were unanimous that congress will be held as scheduled in
2016. At that congress anybody who wishes to contest for any position
is free to do that,’ Mwonzora said.
Many in the
MDC’s top leadership at provincial level have told us that
if the party is to remain relevant, the founding president should
remain at the helm of the party.
should be left to decide what is good for the party. He is the only
individual who can decide to step down at the 2016 congress or continue
as leader if he gets re-elected. The man has grassroots support
that is unparalleled by anybody in the combined opposition,’
a Midlands based MDC-T MP said.
Itai Dzamara told us it is too early to suggest the party may lose
the next election unless genuine efforts are made to reconcile the
aggrieved members or have a leadership renewal.
facing the party cannot be underestimated but should remain optimistic,
that the MDC-T is capable of righting the ship and fight to win
the next elections,’ Dzamara said.
The latest rift
has been in the making for months, with one faction within the party
opposed to Tsvangirai’s leadership. This has seen several
members believed to be plotting their own run against the party
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