17 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Gags Officials

Bulawayo — MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has gagged members of the opposition from giving interviews to the public media claiming it's opening the party up to attack.This is not the first time that Mr Tsvangirai has launched an attack on any media that criticises his actions.

Mr Tsvangirai said this while introducing MDC99 leader Mr Job Sikhala, Mr Edward Mkhosi and Mr Siyabonga Malandu Ncube to a small group of supporters at Stanley Square in Makokoba, Bulawayo at the weekend.

The MDC-T leader, who used to attract crowds that almost filled White City Stadium in Luveve, this time failed to draw enough people to fill the less than 5 000-seater Stanley Square.

"If you do things that are praised by Zanu-PF, you should know that you are wrong. If you are given positive coverage by The Herald, you must know that you are wrong. The same applies to the ZBC, if they give you positive coverage, you should know that you are also wrong.

"If you hear people saying you are doing wrong things, ask yourself if this makes Zanu-PF happy or sad. If by coming together makes Zanu-PF mad, then you must know that you are doing the right thing," he said.

Mr Tsvangirai also took a jibe at his secretary-general, Mr Tendai Biti, though without naming him directly, for admitting that MDC-T lost the July 31, 2013 elections fair and square.

The MDC-T leader is fighting to suppress a rebellion that insiders say is backed by Mr Biti and deputy treasurer-general Mr Elton Mangoma and reportedly bankrolled by treasurer-general Mr Roy Bennett, who is in self-imposed exiled in South Africa.

Last week, Mr Biti admitted at a public meeting in Harare that Zanu-PF won the elections on the basis of its stronger policies.

But Mr Tsvangirai retorted: "If old villagers understand that the elections were rigged, why do senior people refuse to acknowledge that?

"They say 'he-e internal democracy, he-e constitutionalism'. Why are you not seeing dictatorship in Zanu-PF? Why are you not seeing Zanu-PF stealing the elections.

"There are some who always say I want that position and that person who holds it must go. We do not want that. We do not want to push people out of the tent," said Mr Tsvangirai.

He said some leaders were creating chaos in the party in the name of promoting democracy.

"There is nothing wrong with different opinions in the MDC, but let's have direction. Democracy is not mobocracy . . . We condemn indiscipline in the party. We need this party to move on. If you are in the MDC you are a child of the party and you must commit yourself to the values of the struggle," he said.

Interestingly though, Mr Tsvangirai is yet to condemn party members who assaulted Mr Mangoma and other officials as he looked on in Harare recently.

In fact, MDC-T spokesperson and Tsvangirai loyalist, Mr Douglas Mwonzora, is the lawyer representing the men accused of assaulting Mr Mangoma.

While The Herald could not get full details, insiders said the meeting in Bulawayo had been scheduled to start at 9am and end at 2pm but was delayed because the leadership was locked in a stormy meeting.

Trying to play down the poor attendance, MDC-T organising secretary Mr Nelson Chamisa claimed: "Zanu-PF, in an attempt to stop people from attending our meeting, went around with some flyers saying the meeting had been postponed."


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