Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Hires New Strategists

MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai is re-strategising in the wake of serious internal squabbles that have rocked the party.

He has started to appoint experts to help him rebrand and chart a new direction ahead of the 2018 elections, it has emerged.

Sources said Tsvangirai, currently engaged in a bitter fight with the MDC-T Renewal Team faction led by "fired" secretary-general, Tendai Biti, has a new team of locally and foreign-based advisors.

The advisors were said to be working behind the scenes to help rebuild his image and revive his waning fortunes after President Robert Mugabe resoundingly beat him in last year's elections.

The new team has 10 advisors who are experts in various areas, including politics, law, business and economics.

The Standard spoke to Maxwell Shumba, a scientist and longtime MDC-T member who confirmed that he was Tsvangirai's new chief political strategist. He said under his new role, he was leading efforts to help Tsvangirai develop strategies and policies to bring real empowerment to the Zimbabwean people through political change.

Shumba said he and others were appointed after Tsvangirai noted that the party needed a new direction and a new thinking.

"My appointment is significant in that it demonstrates that the president [Tsvangirai] believes in renewal of both personnel and ideas. The president believes in a renewal process which is executed according to the provisions of our Constitution," he said. "My appointment signifies a new direction and Zimbabweans hungry for change will soon experience those new changes. It is a change of process which will inspire all Zimbabweans, even those in Zanu PF."

Shumba said new things which Tsvangirai had instituted since his appointment, included the setting up of MDC-T international offices in countries where there were many resident Zimbabweans.

He said the offices were being staffed by technical and professional people to augment the work done by the MDC-T External Assembly structures.

Shumba said Tsvangirai would soon be engaging "fellow" African leaders to appraise them of the new realities and the new direction the party would take.

He said a new "forward" has been developed by Tsvangirai and people will be informed of the new developments soon.

"With the new people coming on board, this time we are very confident that we will translate our win at elections into a win to rule," said Shumba. "We are taking the lessons learnt seriously and believe Zimbabweans have a right to a better life and MDC under a rejuvenated president Tsvangirai will usher a new Zimbabwe whose future will be bright for all."

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