7 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Loses Confidence in Lieutenants

Photo: Zimbabwe Independent
Supporters of President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai says he no longer trusts his lieutenants whom he accuses of plotting to oust him before the party's elective congress in 2016. Mr Tsvangirai recently read the riot

act to hardliners who sought to sideline Global Political Agreement principals in the Constitution-making process.

A clique of elites in MDC-T who are proponents of a clause of running mates in the new Constitution wanted Copac draft to be taken straight to Parliament after the Second All Stakeholders' Conference.

They even forced the MDC-T leader to convene a national council meeting where a resolution that principals should not have a say in the process was passed.

Sources said Mr Tsvangirai was alerted by some of his close confidantes that the clause of running mates was part of a grand plan to oust him.

This, sources said, forced Mr Tsvangirai to shift his position, despite the position that was taken by his party's national council.

"(Mr) Tsvangirai is trying to regain control of the party. He is telling those who wanted to get rid of him through the Constitution-making process to shut up."

Mr Tsvangirai's spokesperson Mr William Bango defended the PM's position on the Constitution-making process saying principals were always part of the process.

"I am saying what is on the ground. The First All Stakeholders' Conference almost collapsed following chaos that characterised it.

"This forced principals to address the meeting the following day. Principals intervened on several occasions in the process through the Management Committee which is not part of the GPA," he said.

Mr Tsvangirai is struggling to instill discipline in his party.

He told MDC-T's Matabeleland provincial leadership in Lupane last Sunday that there were some top party officials who were plotting to oust him before the next elective congress scheduled for 2016.

"There are so many conspiracies in the party of people going around saying they are defending me from people who want to remove me. I don't need a babysitter. Don't defend me. I can defend myself," he said.

"You cannot remove me except through congress in 2016. Some people are saying they want to change the leadership, but it's stupidity to say that. We have to be a team. If I discipline MaKhupe (Thokozani), I am disciplining myself.

"You gave me a team to work with at congress. We must learn to celebrate each other while we are still alive."

He, however, did not disclose the names of the masterminds.

Sources said Mr Tsvangirai first revealed the plot while addressing legislators during a party caucus.

"He was very angry that people were planning to remove him. He told the MPs that if he lost the elections, that would be the end of the party. He said he had no problem packing his bags and going back to Buhera.

"He has been aware of the plot for a very long time, but he thought the plan would fail.

"However, he changed his attitude when he realised the people were pursuing the agenda of making sure he loses. That is the reason why he is now speaking out," said a source.

Another source added: "It is people who are in the Standing Committee who are behind this. Some of these people feel he embarrassed the party when stories about his love life became public.

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