UNDERFIRE MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday dared officials linked to suspended deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma to go ahead and form their own party.
Addressing a rally attended by about 4 000 supporters at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru, Tsvangirai said it was surprising that the officials pushing for leadership renewal wanted to lecture him on MDC-T values yet some of them had no clue about the party’s history.
“Some say we want to go back to the values of the party; what values do you refer to when you do not even know where this party came from?” he charged.
“If you want to form your own party, go ahead and do so.”
The officials calling themselves the MDC-Team have been going around the country addressing parallel rallies accusing Tsvangiral of dictatorial tendencies.
On Saturday they hinted that they might form a coalition to challenge both Zanu PF and MDC-T.
The MDC-Team faction spokesperson and Mangoma’s lawyer Jacob Mafume accused Tsvangirai of departing from the party’s core values.
Mangoma and secretary-general Tendai Biti, who are believed to be the brains behind the MDC-Team faction, did not attend the Mkoba rally.
Other senior officials who were conspicuous by their absence were youth leaders Promise Mkwananzi, Solomon Madzore and former organising secretary Elias Mudzuri.
Tsvangirai told his supporters that he had no intentions of clinging to power as per the rebels’ accusations.
“I don’t privatise the party. I am merely a leader of the people,” he said.
The former prime minister said those bent on destroying the MDC-T were promoting the interests of Zanu PF and urged party members not to lose focus over internal squabbles as they were trivial compared to the bigger national crisis.
Speaking at the same rally, MDC-T chairperson Lovemore Moyo described those behind the MDC-Team faction as sellouts who will never be allowed back into the party structures.
“MDC-T is the only hope for the country. If someone plans to destroy the party that person will not be forgiven,” he said.
“It’s betrayal of the highest order. This is an experience. We don’t want such people back for they would betray us again. We don’t want sellouts.”
MDC-T women’s assembly chairperson Theresa Makone said those calling for leadership renewal had no guts to face President Robert
“A full grown up person stands up and says Zanu PF won the election because of bhora mugedhi (the ruling party’s 2013 election slogan).
“No one in the renewal team has the guts to face Mugabe,” she said.
In the past Tsvangirai had insisted that no one would be pushed out of MDC-T, but he will seek to rally all opposition politicians behind his bid to topple Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.