19 January 2018

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Spokesperson Dismisses Harvest House Ban

MDC-T Spokesperson Obert Gutu has dismissed claims that had has banned from setting foot at the party's Harvest House headquarters by a group of party youths calling themselves The Vanguard.

The youths, ordinary supporters who are not in any structure of the party, circulated a statement purporting that they had, with immediate effect, suspended Gutu from speaking on behalf of the MDC-T and banned him from entering Harvest House.

The group was last year accused of battering party Vice President Thokozani Khupe and other senior party officials in Bulawayo who had organized a meeting to discuss the MDC Alliance a day after they had boycotted the launch of the Bulawayo chapter of the Alliance launch.

The youths accused Khupe, party chairperson Lovemore Moyo and National Organising Secretary Abednico Bhebhe of sabotaging the Alliance and party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

And in their statement, the youths are raising the same allegations against Gutu.

"We do hereby announce the suspension of Obert Chaurura Gutu with immediate effect from his position as spokesperson of the party. We have reached this decision after realizing his continued undermining of the Congress resolution and President Tsvangirai's Alliance building efforts."

They added; "For the meantime, Obert Gutu will not be allowed to speak on behalf of the party, to attend any party meeting or enter Harvest House. Any attempt to resist this directive will meet its right response according to the Order of the Vanguard mission statement of 2014,"

Gutu, however, dismissed the claims, saying he had just attended a meeting at the party headquarters.

"I actually attended a meeting at Harvest House this morning. We were meeting a delegation led by the UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UNDP Zimbabwe, Bishow Parajuli."

Gutu said he had attended the meeting together with party Acting President, Elias Mudzuri, and Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora.

However, all seems not well in the country's biggest opposition party as factions position themselves to push for preferred candidates to replace ailing party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is battling cancer of the colon.

The party's three Vice Presidents, Nelson Chamisa, Mudzuri and Khupe have publicly made their ambitions to succeed Tsvangirai known.

There have also been widespread calls from within and without the party for Tsvangirai to step down and hand over power to a successor because of his deteriorating health.

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