New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe: The Fight Is On, Say MDC-T Rebels

OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai reportedly failed Friday to get the party's National Executive Council to vote for or against the holding of an early elective congress.

Tsvangirai had hoped to "bury" his new political nemesis and party deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma.

Mangoma sparked a storm in the party with a critical position paper that called on Tsvangirai to resign, arguing he had literally failed the party.

"There was no resolution on the so called Mangoma proposals because they (Mangoma's views) are a personal opinion and they should be treated as such," party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said.

"Mangoma is not going to be charged or victimised for expressing an opinion. We could have charged him but we did not, the party is bigger than individuals".

Sources said the stormy meeting had been heated with Tsvangirai allies kow-towing bootlickers" agitating for sanctions against Mangoma.

"The likes of Chalton Hwende and Morgan Femai wanted Mangoma expelled or suspended but failed to get support. The fact is that the issue will now have to be discussed at the next national council meeting probably in February," said an insider who asked not to be named.

"Tsvangirai was fuming and threatening to split the party in two but this had no takers because nobody is going to walk away.

"We want to democratise the MDC-T and the leadership crisis the party is grappling with should be resolved and the only way out of the state of paralysis is an early congress.

MDC-T deputy national chairman Morgen Komichi said Tsvangirai would remain party leader.

"We have no reason to go to an early congress because we are happy with the leadership."

Also in support of Tsvangirai is Mashonaland East chairman Piniel Denga.

"We are solidly behind Tsvangirai and will not be swayed by a power hungry individual bent on dividing the party. Mangoma's utterances are bringing the party into disrepute and undermining the authority of president Tsvangirai," Denga said.

Reports Friday indicated that Tsvangirai failed to get endorsement from Mashonaland West, Harare and Chitungwiza structures of the party.

Sources said Tsvangirai was now planning to attend provincial council meetings in the remaining areas in order to coerce members to rubber stamp his rejection of an early congress.

Mangoma is reportedly also working hard and has appointed a team of experts including former Makoni South legislator Pishayi Muchauraya as spokesperson.

Mangoma last week penned the contentious opinion in which he asked Tsvangirai to resign and pave way for deputy president Thokozani Khupe as interim leader.

The former energy minister argued that Tsvangirai would find it difficult to extricate himself from problems in his private life as well as allegations of abuse of public funds relating to the government house in the plush Harare suburb of Highlands.

Tsvangirai is also said to facing financial challenges and has reportedly approached bitter rival President Robert Mugabe for assistance.

Mugabe is said be open to helping, on condition the ex-premier publicly acknowledges he fairly lost last year's the general elections which he claims were fraudulent.

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