New Zimbabwe (London)

27 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Liz Rebukes Hubby, Biti Over MDC-T Split

ELIZABETH Macheka, wife to embattled MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has rebuked her husband and his once trusted aide Tendai Biti over the opposition party's bitter split April this year.

Tsvangirai's wife was speaking Friday afternoon during party organised commemorations in Mashonaland Central's Chiweshe area, the hardest hit during the 2008 by what the MDC-T calims to have been State-sponsored election violence.

Macheka said the split has disappointed hundreds of party followers who were hoping a prospective MDC-T government under a united front was going to one day revisit the incidents.

She said: "Munoona Zanu PF chinoita kuti varambe vakabatana inyaya yekuti vanoti takaenda kuhondo; handiti. Vanoziva kuti tinehama dzedu dzakasara kuhondo. Saka leadership yeMDC chirikukupayi kuti murwidzane musiri kutanga mafunga kufa kwakaita vana ava chi. (Zanu PF is united by its liberation war sacrifices and are so much sensitive to that they lost their loved ones in that war.

"So what gives you as the MDC leadership the strength to quarrel before you think deeply about the plight of the violence victims)."

Macheka was accompanying her husband in one of the estranged couple's now rare public appearances while together. The couple came to the gathering driving a white Range Rover with Macheka at the wheel.

She spoke after listening to touching testimonies of political violence survivors during the commemorations, which symbolically coincided with the disputed June 27, 2008 run-off in which President Robert Mugabe claimed to have won after staging a one-man contest.

Tsvangirai withdrew his candidacy at the last minute citing the impossibility of victory when his structures were under siege.

Macheka said to applause: "Vanhu vakafa pamusaka pekuti vaive netarisiro yechange saka tisati tazvifunga ngatitangei tafunga vanhu nemakuva evanhu vakafa ava tosotanga kuzvifunga isusu. Kubatana ndokuchaita kuti kupodze maronda evanhu vakashaikirwa nehama dzavo (These people sacrificed their lives on the hope the MDC-T leadership was going to deliver change. So before we think of our selfish interests, let us first think about the deaths of these victims. An MDC-T unity is the only way those who lost their loved ones can be consoled)."

Macheka warned MDC-T youths not to be tempted to retaliate when provoked by Zanu PF supporters.

The MDC-T says the violence orgy during the run-up to the June 27, 2008 run-off election claimed hundreds of its supporters and displaced more.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai on his part, accused the Zanu PF led government for being clueless on how to rescue the country from its current economic slide.

The ex-premier urged his rivals to swallow their pride and engage his party for assistance "but not with a GNU 2 in mind". He promised to "try our best" to assist the victims of poll related political violence.

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