New Zimbabwe (London)

3 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Labour Body Hierarchy Backs Tsvangirai

THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) last Thursday endorsed Morgan Tsvangirai as MDC-T leader, rejecting as "unheard of" a bid to oust the embattled former premier by a faction of the divided party.

"We are very much concerned with what is happening in the political parties both Zanu PF and the MDC," said ZCTU president George Nkiwane while addressing hundreds of workers gathered at Gwanzura stadium in Harare to commemorate Workers Day.

"In Zanu PF there is the issue of succession which has caused a lot of debate and our fear is that, if not carefully handled, it might result in violence which we do not want to see.

"In the opposition as well, there are power struggles and this is also dangerous for the nation. We hear in the MDC that juniors want to topple the leadership; this is unheard of on this earth.

"How can a junior expel his or her leader? This is not only unacceptable but also impossible."

To show its support for the beleaguered former prime minister, the ZCTU invited Tsvangirai to its May Day commemorations.

The MDC-T leader assured the labour body, which he once headed, that troubles in his party would soon come to an end.

"Do not worry about what is happening in the MDC. These are past turbulences; they will come to an end," he said.

"We want to focus on the national crisis which was not caused by MDC, but by Zanu PF; and for us that is the biggest (issued) we want to attend to."

MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, the party's former deputy treasurer, last week organised a meeting of a faction of the party's national council, its top decision making body outside congress.

The meeting agreed to suspend Tsvangirai and several senior party officials backing him to cling onto power.

Biti accused Tsvangirai of being corrupt, violent and putting the name of the party into disrepute but the MDC-T leader hit back by expelling the former finance minister Biti and his team.

The former Prime minister has also indicated that the nine legislators who are backing Biti would soon be recalled from parliament.

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