9 December 2010

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Fights Factionalism

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has attacked his party's Matabeleland North provincial executive for failing to create vibrant structures and dividing the party through factionalism, which he said could erode the party's support base in that province.

Party insiders told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that Tsvangirai launched a blistering attack on the provincial leadership when he was in that province last Friday attending a funeral service for the late Hwange senator Jabulani Ndlovu in Victoria Falls.

The party insiders said Tsvangirai fumed over the election of a provincial representative, Esau Ncube, to the national executive, which he said was done unconstitutionally.

The premier, the source added, explained that a provincial representative was supposed to be a senior party official appointed rather than elected.

Ncube is accused by MDC-T hardliners of having links with Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

Sources said Tsvangirai had no kind words for the Sengezo Tshabangu-led provincial executive, which he blamed for failing to meet the November 30 structures audit deadline.

Matabeleland North was supposed to complete the audit of wards and districts as well as co-option of members into the provincial executive before the end of last month, but the local leadership failed to do this, according to MDC-T officials.

"Tsvangirai was also upset over the absence of security department officials in the provincial structures. The premier ordered the organising secretary's office to look into the Matabeleland North issue urgently," another source said.

Stanley Torima, sources said, was the self-proclaimed provincial head of the security department, but he was one of the MDC-T security officials who were sacked this year.

Sources said the organising secretary Elias Mudzuri met other party officials from his department on Wednesday where they discussed the Matabeleland North problems.

Meanwhile, Tshabangu has come under fire from senior party officials for allegedly unilaterally appointing members of the provincial executive without consulting others.

The co-option of Bigboy Mawundira as provincial secretary for economics, Thembinkosi Sibindi (international relations secretary) and Prince Sibanda (research and policy making) was not accepted by other provincial executive members, sources said.

Those opposed to Tshabangu's appointments were provincial youth secretary Bhekimpilo Ncube, information and publicity secretary Margs Varlley, and provincial secretary Gift Mabhena.

Tshabangu was not available for comment on Wednesday as his mobile phone was not reachable.

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