Tsvangirai open warfare

CONFUSION escalated in the MDC-T Matabeleland North structures after the ousted executive held its own provincial council meeting in Lupane last Saturday where it resolved to charge the newly-installed interim leadership for indiscipline.

NQOBANI NDLOVU
STAFF REPORTER

The turmoil in the province has been linked to moves by disgruntled MDC-T officials to topple party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The provincial council dismissed the vote of no confidence passed on Sengezo Tshabangu’s executive as null and void saying the meeting where that decision was taken was illegal as it was not properly convened.

Tshabangu’s executive was booted out on March 1 over its alleged links to deputy treasurer- general Elton Mangoma, who is now on suspension for telling Tsvangirai to step aside.

An interim structure led by Thembinkosi Sibindi was appointed to take charge of the party’s affairs in the province until the holding of a national congress.

Sibindi’s interim executive was unveiled at a party rally addressed by Tsvangirai at Stanley Square in Makokoba last Saturday while the parallel structure was meeting in Lupane.

Tshabangu’s executive has resolved to summon party members who organised the March 1 meeting, among them deputy national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe to a disciplinary hearing.

However, Bhebhe yesterday said the provincial council meeting held last Saturday was illegal.

“As far as the organising department is concerned, every meeting is sanctioned and advised by the organising committee,” he said.

“This weekend we only had one meeting, a rally to be precise, at Stanley Square in Makokoba and anything other than that is illegal and not recognised.”

Tshabangu, on the other hand, said he was guided by Saturday’s provincial council meeting which “affirmed” him as the rightful leader of the MDC-T in Matabeleland North.

He said if they were to be removed from office, then the entire leadership, Tsvangirai included, was supposed to step aside.

“What happened on March 1 is null and void and our executive has been tasked by Matabeleland North structures to institute disciplinary processes against those who called and organised that meeting,” said Tshabangu.

“Anyone who took part in organising that meeting will face the consequences.

“If the basis of trying or attempting to dissolve us was correct and is the yardstick for judging our performance, then we should not go alone.

“The top leadership should also be removed since we lost elections. Matabeleland North province performed far better than other provinces and those provinces that did not perform better than us should also be dissolved.”

On Saturday, Tsvangirai called for unity among party members and urged his fierce backers not to intimidate, beat up or bad-mouth those calling for his ouster.

Party supporters at the rally persistently denounced Mangoma and others calling for Tsvangirai’s ouster.

MDC-T national chairperson Lovemore Moyo even called on those opposed to Tsvangirai to leave the party saying the movement was a voluntary organisation.

Tendai Biti, the MDC-T secretary-general who has also been targeted by Tsvangirai loyalists, has criticised the purging of provincial executives perceived to be in favour of leadership renewal.

Some provincial leaders in Manicaland have been suspended on allegations that they were destabilising the party.

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