MDC-T renewal group wants democracy not split

MDC-T leaders calling for leadership renewal will not form a splinter party but want democracy to return to the party.


Jacob Mafume, spokesperson for the camp that has branded itself the Renewal Group, has come out guns blazing and challenged party president Morgan Tsvangirai and his likeminded colleagues to shape up. “No individual or group owns the party. Personalisation of the struggle through creation of Messiah type of leadership is against our founding principles and this is what we are fighting,” Mafume, a Harare lawyer, told The Zimbabwean.

He said forming a splinter group would be among the ‘very last’ options. “In fact, if Tsvangirai and his lieutenants continue with the purge of dissenting voices and unconstitutional suspensions of members, they (Tsvangirai and others) would be breaking away from MDC-T.”

Mafume was optimistic that Tsvangirai would at some stage find the democracy in him and enhance his legacy ‘which was being eaten away by his lieutenants’. He described Tsvangirai as a leader on a rollercoaster that left him not thinking, and taking self-defeating decisions. Tsvangirai was stuck in the government Highlands house dilemma and could not afford to make noise about crippling corruption, he added. “He has no solutions for the national crisis, as he fears Mugabe will evict him from house if he makes unwanted noises.

Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters at Mkoba, Gweru, last weekend that those who want to destabilise the party through leadership renewal were free to form their own party.

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, accused the Renewal Group of lacking discipline and challenged them to work hard for leadership positions at the coming elective congress.

“We are not surprised at all by the calls as Zanu (PF) and state security agents are working tirelessly to destabilise the party and Tsvangirai ahead of the next elections,” said Mwonzora, adding that suspended treasurer Elton Mangoma had committed an offence by defying orders.

The Renewal Group fears that elections at the congress were already rigged in favour of Tsvangirai. “The ongoing suspensions are meant to put Tsvangirai in a winning position as those who dare challenge him are being thrown out of the ‘big tent’,” said Mafume.

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