MDC jittery over succession witch-hunt

The MDC-T Manicaland provincial executive is reeling following reports that it will be dissolved over a leadership succession storm sparked by Elton Mangoma.

Nelson Chamisa allegedly moved the motion to dissolve the restive Manicaland executive.
Nelson Chamisa allegedly moved the motion to dissolve the restive Manicaland executive.

Tsvangirai and his team are expected to be in Mutare next week (March 12) to meet the members of the provincial executive to discuss the issue.

The MDC-T’s national standing committee recently met in Harare amid reports that the party was considering dissolving the Manicaland provincial leadership, which was said to be in support of ousting Tsvangirai.

Mangoma, the party’s deputy treasurer-general and a former minister of energy in the inclusive government, recently wrote a four-page letter urging Tsvangirai to resign and allow fresh blood to take over ahead of the 2018 elections.

The fight between Tsvangirai and Mangoma has triggered deep factional fighting within the party in Manicaland.

Mangoma’s statements have sucked in provincial chairman Julias Magarangoma and party provincial spokesperson Pishai Muchauraya, who have been accused of supporting Mangoma.

A source privy to the meeting told The Zimbabwean that the party’s national organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, moved the motion to dissolve the restive Manicaland executive.

The source said Magarangoma and Muchauraya were on the firing line.

“The two were named as the ones at the forefront of causing problems in Manicaland. So very soon you might hear that they have been fired from the party,” said the source.

Recently Muchauraya and Magarangoma openly declared their full support for Mangoma’s calls for leadership renewal and for party leader Tsvangirai to step down.

This has angered Tsvangirai’s faction, including Chamisa, who is alleged to be creating parallel structures in problematic provinces like Manicaland.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora denied that the Manicaland provincial executive would be dissolved.

“The truth of the matter is that Chamisa will look into the problems in Manicaland and give a report to the national council. There has not been a formal motion or resolution over the disbanding of the Manicaland executive at the moment,” he said.

Muchauraya dismissed the suggestion that they were under investigation or were on the firing line.

“We wish to correctly state that our provincial executive led by Julius Magarangoma is intact and not under any investigation by any superior organ of the party,” he said.

Magarangoma said: “It is my firm belief that no position in the MDC-T is sacrosanct. Every position in the MDC-T is a contested position. Morgan Tsvangirai is, or should be, no stranger to being contested.”

He added that Tsvangirai was contested in the ZCTU and NCA, which contributed to his being MDC leader.

“It is damaging to his legacy and track record for people to create a taboo that he cannot be challenged as the MDC-T leader and on critical issues pertaining to the health and prospects of the party. Contestation can never be a taboo in a democratic dispensation,” he said.

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