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Tsvangirai’s big test

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AN MDC-T faction linked to deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma yesterday gave the clearest hint yet that the opposition party is headed for another split.

STAFF REPORTER

Any fresh divisions would be a stern test for Morgan Tsvangirai who presided over the first split of the united MDC in 2005.

The group calling itself “MDC-Team”, which for the past few weeks has been addressing the party’s grassroots, said it had lost confidence in Tsvangirai.

Mangoma has defied a suspension by his party for telling Tsvangirai to step down and continues to address MDC-T structures ahead of his disciplinary hearing.

Yesterday the group accused Tsvangirai of having dictatorial tendencies and hinted on mobilising a coalition to challenge both Zanu PF and MDC-T.

“The MDC led by Tsvangirai has exhibited a serious departure from its core values as evidenced by the use of violence, a blatant disregard of the party’s constitution, intolerance, personification of the people’s struggle, Zanufication of the party processes and undemocratic approaches to decision-making,” the MDC-Team faction’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume said in the statement.

“Regrettably, such tendencies have alienated genuine democrats within the party to the point where differences in value propositions
have reached irreconcilable proportions.

“It is against this sad background that there has been an emergence of the MDC-Team, which is advocating for a return to the party’s founding values and the need to intensify our focus on tackling the national crisis.”

Outlining the faction’s strategy, Mafume said they believed the only way opposition politics could be revived was through a united coalition against Zanu PF.

“The MDC-Team believes that there is need to revive the people’s democratic project so as to restore the people’s hope in a credible and democratic alternative that is able to deliver jobs, better health, education and a better life for all in a truly democratic Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Our idea is that the only arrangement that will move Zimbabwe forward is a coalition of winners and progressive Zimbabweans transcending gender, race, age, class, ethnic background and old political allegiances. We believe that a united democratic movement that builds a broad social movement will deliver a democratic transition in Zimbabwe and the time for such a movement is now,” Mafume added.

“We believe that a united democratic movement that builds a broad-based social movement will deliver a democratic transition in Zimbabwe and the time for such a movement is now.

“We call upon all democrats that are locked up in undemocratic institutions to come forward and participate in the united front to bring about a positive change in Zimbabwe.”

Ironically, Tsvangirai has been rallying opposition leaders to join forces with him to form a united front ahead of the 2018 elections.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, dismissed the so-called renewal movement saying those that aspired for posts in the party must do so through the normal channels.

“This is why the president (Tsvangirai) has brought the congress closer and if there is anyone who wishes to challenge they can do so. Leaders are not removed at press conferences,” he said. “However, it would set a bad precedent if leaders across the world were to be removed by three people only.”

Tamborinyoka added: “Right now the president is concentrating on national issues. Internal issues are a closed chapter because the relevant organs of the party have dealt with them.”

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