23 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Holland Intimidated, Biti Group Claims

Photo: The Herald
Sekai Holland

THE MDC renewal team has claimed that Sekai Holland who gave a statement on behalf of the party's Guardian Council was intimidated and coerced by Morgan Tsvangirai who 'remains still suspended'.

The renewal team wants Tsvangirai to step down, accusing him of, among other things, using violence against rivals in the party and failing to topple President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party from power as well as using violence against rivals.

Tsvangirai, backed by several among the party's top leadership, rejects the allegations and has refused go outside of congress. Both sides have since either expelled or suspended each other from the party. Holland on Thursday distanced the Guardian Council from the Tendai Biti-led renewal team which had earlier said the board of elders, which advises the party, was backing its movement.

But Holland said the Guardian Council wants to encourage dialogue within the party as opposed to supporting the Biti faction as earlier claimed.

"The statement from the Guardian Council was suppressed through coercion and intimidation. Thus the statement ended up giving false reflection of the Guardian Council sentiments," Promise Mkwananzi a member of the Biti faction told NewZimbabwe.com Friday.

Mkwananzi said they were not going to engage with the Tsvangirai led-faction because "we are oil and water".

"While we welcome Holland's call for unity talks we are only interested in talks with a view to achieving an amicable solution," he said.

"That means no denigrating each other in media/public, allowing members to choose freely the side they want to join that is MPs and council members and supporters agreeing on distribution of party assets, name, symbols and slogans.

"The two factions differ on issues of principle; we are democrats, and they are not. Thus we are oil and water."

The Biti faction added that "Tsvangirai and company remain suspended as per the Mandel national council resolution for constitutional transgressions such as violence, hate speech, unconstitutionalism, abuse of office funds etc. until proven otherwise by the (planned) tribunal".

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