Clergy moves in to reunify MDC-T

Morgan Tsvangirai, whose MDC-T has been rocked by intense infighting, has established a three-member clerical team to help mend the rifts in the party, The Zimbabwean has learnt.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai

Sources said Tsvangirai approached Bishop Sebastian Bakare of the Anglican Church to headhunt other notable clergymen to help reunify MDC-T leaders, after realising his party might be divided beyond repair following recent calls for leadership renewal.

He is reportedly working with Reverend Levee Kadenge from the Methodist Church and Reverend Useni Sibanda of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance.

Following the defeat of the party in last year’s general elections, some top leaders in MDC-T have directly or indirectly called for Tsvangirai to step down and allow for leadership change through an extraordinary congress.

Those that have been pushing for Tsvangirai to step down include Elton Mangoma, who was recently suspended and awaits a disciplinary hearing; Tendai Biti, the secretary-general whose Umwinsidale home was mysteriously bombed; Elias Mudzuri; Roy Bennett, and Ian Kay.

The pro-change faction in the party is said to enjoy strong loyalty within the provincial structures and the youth wing, some of whose members also face disciplinary action on various charges.

The team, said another contact, had so far met top leaders through visits to Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare.

“That is why there is now talk about reunification. The reunification talks seem to have yielded some results already. Biti and others have expressed an interest in talking with Tsvangirai and burying the hatchet, but it is too early to conclude if the process will succeed,” he said.

Tsvangirai, Biti and other party leaders recently met at the MDC-T boss’s Highlands house where they are said to have opened up to each other and agreed in principle to work together.

This was followed by Tsvangirai’s announcement that the wrangling parties had resolved their differences. “A lot of people are involved in trying to unify the party but I don’t know who has been talking to who. The main issue is that we have realised that, for our fight for democracy, transparency and economic revival to work, we need to form a united front against the regime,” said Douglas Mwonzora.

He credited Tsvangirai for “reunifying” political adversaries, saying the party president was “serious and has learnt from history that the fight for democratic change is compromised if leaders follow selfish interests”.

Tsvangirai has already agreed that a special congress to elect a new leadership will be held by March next year. He is tipped to retain his post as he still enjoys the biggest grassroots support in the party.

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