Tsunga did not meet Biti, Bennet in SA

In our edition of The Zimbabwean for the period 6-12th March 2014 on the formation of new political party in Zimbabwe, we said “Tendai Biti, Secretary General of the MDC-T, flew to Johannesburg on Friday in the company of Arnold Tsunga, a party heavyweight from Manicaland and a Harare-based ambassador (name withheld) to meet treasurer Roy Bennett and other top party members".

Tsunga
Tsunga

We have been reliably informed no such meeting ever took place. The information used as a basis for our report, which came from a usually reliable source, was wrong.

Tsunga has advised us that the story is “false, malicious, damaging and prejudicial and has no basis whatsoever and that it was calculated to damage his otherwise good reputation and standing."

The story was published in good faith and in no way intended to damage Tsunga’s reputation or standing. The error is sincerely regretted and we apologise unreservedly to him for any embarrassment caused.

We also reported that: "According to a source from party president Morgan Tsvangirai’s security department, the group that met in South Africa holds the keys to party finances. This group was in charge of party money and will go with it. Right now, there are no funds to cover operational costs and other programmes as the faction (opposed to Tsvangirai) has blocked donors from giving him money. Instead, they are the ones that will get all the funding,” said the source."

For the record, Tsunga does not and has never held keys to the finances of the MDC-T. There was absolutely no basis to link his name with the party’s finances or its operational costs.

The article further stated that "The formation of a splinter party, to be called the Progressive Democratic Movement in Zimbabwe (PDMZ), is on the cards as calls for leadership renewal mount." This was attributed to the same source. Tsunga has stated categorically that he is not part of any effort to form a new political party in Zimbabwe or anywhere else.

Every effort was made to contact Tsunga by news editor Tawanda Majoni prior to publication, but he did not succeed, while Bennett, whom we also tried to contact, has since confirmed that he was not in South Africa at that time.

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