Call for caution over MDC succession

Debate over how MDC-T’s President Morgan Tsvangirai can be succeeded is too sensitive and the party could disintegrate if the matter is not properly handled, a top party official has said.


Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya told a weekend rally that succession debate must not be a sacred cow. “However, we need to be careful. Discussing such matters in the media will only serve a divisive role that is very dangerous. There is need to limit the discussion to proper platforms like the NEC,” he said.

The outspoken legislator blamed party Deputy Treasurer General Elton Mangoma of trying to gain sympathy of the party structures through leaking official documents to the media. Mangoma recently wrote a letter to Tsvangirai urging him to consider stepping down.

“What Mangoma and others are doing in calling for Save (Tsvangirai) to step down is not proper. Even I might be interested to assume position of leadership but I will not do so through the newspapers,” Chibaya said. “We all need to remain united.”

MDC-T national treasurer Roy Bennett, former Marondera Central MP Ian Kay and former MP for Bulawayo South Eddie Cross have all called for Tsvangirai’s resignation. At a weekend meeting, the party’s Midlands structures resolved to stand by the party president.

Meanwhile, MDC-T’s national Secretary for Defence and Security Giles Mutsekwa has referred to Mangoma as a “fool” and “political chancer” and accused him of leading a small and insignificant faction.

The fight between Tsvangirai and Mangoma has triggered deep factional fighting within the party in Manicaland where supporters are divided over allegiance to secretary general Tendai Biti.

A source told The Zimbabwean last week that Biti’s faction includes Julias Magarangoma, the party’s Provincial Chairman and Pishai Muchauraya the party’s provincial spokesperson. Others believed to be gunning for Tsvangirai’s downfall include Prosper Mutseyami, Brian James and Keresencia Chabuka.

Tsvangira’s faction is reportedly led by Mutsekwa, David Chimhini and Misheck Kagurabadza.

“He (Mangoma) joined us when we had formed the MDC long back. He was not even there when we formed the movement. He is just a traitor and he behaves like a fool. He is just a young boy who is selling out,” said Mutsekwa. Mangoma was a member of Zimbabwe Integrated Party before he came to MDC.

The party’s national organizing secretary for Women Assembly, Lynette Karenyi has also come out guns blazing at Mangoma, describing him as power hungry. “We have resolved that Tsvangirai is our leader. The door is open and those who are not happy with Tsvangirai are free to move out. This is the democracy that we have all been preaching. They should start their own thing” she said.

Muchauraya confirmed that he was behind Mangoma: “I can confirm that I am 100 percent supportive of Elton Mangoma’s document. Zimbabwe needs strong opposition leaders who can confront the regime head on. We don’t need those who dine with the enemy.”

When contacted for comment Mangoma said he had nothing to say.

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