28 April 2014

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Masvingo Executive Deserts Tsvangirai

WHILE the MDC-T leadership tussle rages in Harare, all top MDC-T Masvingo provincial executive members have also joined the charade by deserting the Morgan Tsvangirai camp for the rival group led by secretary general Tendai Biti.

The perceived betrayal has angered Tsvangirai loyalists who have quickly deployed youths to bar the group from accessing the party's offices in the town.

Party provincial secretary for international affairs, Tichaona Chiminya, a Tsvangirai loyalist said any one against the embattled MDC-T leader in the province was not going to set foot at the party offices in the low density suburb of Rhodene.

He said the party's top brass including the chairman, Wilstaff Stemere and the provincial secretary and former indigenisation deputy minister Tongai Matutu were among those barred from accessing the offices.

Chiminya said the party's offices were being guarded jealously to avoid a repeat of 2005 when asserts were stripped when Welshman Ncube led the first split of the MDC.

Some of the executive members barred from accessing the offices include Jefferson Chitando, Ernest Mudavanhu and Oliver Chirume.

"The party here has not been active since the elections," Chiminya said, "The last meeting they called for was for candidate selection. We wrote to the chairman and secretary saying we want a meeting and they did not respond. We then told them that we were inviting them for the meeting, but they boycotted.

"After all, they were campaigning for Mangoma in Masvingo so we are surprised if they still belong to the MDC-T."

However, both Matutu or Stimere could not be reached for comment.

A party supporter who talked on condition of anonymity said supporters no longer recognised the provincial executive for its decision to forsake the party's founding leader.

"Our position is that there is no provincial leadership, they have openly denounced Tsvangirai within the party structures and as supporters, we now seek to have a new provincial leadership which respects the core values of the party," said the supporter.

The MDC-T power fights promise to turn into a bruising legal battle as the fight for the party's assets rages between the protagonists.

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