24 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Renewal Team Snubs Tsvangirai

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai's call for rebels to re-join his faction have landed on deaf ears, as the latter said they would not "follow him into his make believe world".

Spokesperson for the MDC Renewal Team, Jacob Mafume said Tsvangirai was the one who should ask for forgiveness from Zimbabweans for being undemocratic and violating the party constitution.

"Firstly, we are saying if there is anyone who is to ask for forgiveness, it is him [Tsvangirai],"Mafume said.

"He has to ask for forgiveness for beating up [Elton] Mangoma, for violation of the party constitution and for being inconsistent. He has overstayed in power and he should also ask for forgiveness for being an undemocratic leader and personalising the party."

Mafume said a political party could not be run like a church where one asked for forgiveness from a priest or pastor.

"He is saying we should work together, doing what?" asked Mafume.

"He is not the high priest of the Zimbabweans where he can issue forgiveness amnesty. Under what authority does he give amnesty? We will not follow him into his make believe world."

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Eldred Masunungure said Tsvangirai's call was likely to land on deaf ears.

"It is difficult to say it's prompted by desperation or reconciliation," Masunungure said.

"He is trying to sound like someone who is accommodative or tolerant. He is trying to establish his democratic credentials and wants to differentiate himself from President [Robert] Mugabe, by trying to rebut those allegations that he is dictatorial by calling back those who deserted the party.

"I don't think it will work; the call is likely to be received by disdain and ridicule by the other members. It will be received on deaf ears."

Tsvangirai on Friday extended an olive branch to rebels and all other opposition party members who deserted the party, pleading with them to return to enable the formation of a united front to dislodge Mugabe from power.

He said the party was prepared to take back rebels and deserters without any preconditions.

"In light of our big tent mentality and consistent with our traditional magnanimity as a democratic party, we have offered an olive branch to all members, without exception, who feel they wish to come back and renew their commitment by rejoining the party," Tsvangirai was quoted as saying.

The MDC-T lost several members to the MDC Renewal Team headed by former secretary-general Tendai Biti after accusing the former Premier of dictatorial tendencies.

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