SW Radio Africa (London)

8 April 2014

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Party to Meet Over Infighting

Photo: Trevor Davies/IPS
MDC-T youths

The next two days will define if the MDC-T will remain united or split again, if warring parties fail to resolve their differences in meetings called for Wednesday and Thursday.

The party will first convene a Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday to be followed by two more crucial meetings of the National Executive Council and National Council on Thursday.

The meetings come at a time when there is renewed conflict in the party, two weeks after party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said there was renewed unity within the party following talks aimed at bringing an end to months of infighting.

However rebels in the party, calling for the ouster of Tsvangirai, on Saturday dismissed reports of unity saying all is not rosy in the labour backed movement.

Several of the members linked to the renewal team said the meetings will be used to lift Elton Mangoma' suspension and offer a truce.

'The bottom line is that they need everyone back in the tent now,' said one of the MPs linked to Mangoma's plot to oust Tsvangirai.

Another member of the renewal team concurred that there was a possibility Mangoma's suspension might be withdrawn, as it was one of their demands to re-convene a National Council meeting and deliberate over the suspension.

Two months ago a National Council meeting endorsed Mangoma's suspension, but his close colleagues and Secretary General Tendai Biti said the meeting was improperly constituted and thus the suspension was null and void.

One of those close to Mangoma observed that if Tsvangirai brings sanity back into the party, he will effectively kill off the renewal team and any attempts to dislodge him.

Jacob Mafume, Mangoma's lawyer, said he was not aware of what is going to be discussed but implored the party to talk about the current problems in a sober manner.

'We need people to discuss the good of the party and not engage in divisive and personal issues that have seen the party regress disastrously in the last few months,' Mafume.

Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora, while confirming the party will discuss disciplinary issues, said he was not sure Mangoma will come up for discussion as there was a tribunal set to hear his case.

'Lately we have individuals that have put the name of the party into disrepute and as such we are obligated as a party to take action against them,' Mwonzora said.

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