26 April 2014

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai 'Suspended' in Party Infighting

Photo: MDC-T
MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai addressing a rally.

Cape Town — Infighting within the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) intensified on Saturday when some party officials announced the suspension of the party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Party secretary-general Tendai Biti was reported by Zimbabwean and international news outlets to have been among those who said Tsvangirai had been suspended by the party's national council. But Tsvangirai supporters contested the validity of the action.

New Zimbabwe reported that 138 members of 176 members of the council met, and 136 of them voted to suspend Tsvangirai.

But Zimbabwe's Nehanda Radio suggested that "a small faction" of the party had taken the decision and Agence France-Presse characterised those who met as "a splinter group."

New Zimbabwe quoted Biti as saying that the MDC "has been hijacked by a dangerous fascist clique and we draw a line against the use of violence, abuse of power, massive purges, and the use of parallel structures, vigilantes and the kitchen cabinet.”

AFP quoted MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora - one of those reportedly suspended - as saying in a telephone interview: "It is a legal nullity, President Tsvangirai remains the legitimate leader of the MDC... That was not a national council meeting."

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