MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai said today he is not stepping down despite mounting pressure for him to go.
“You don’t just wake up on the street and say Tsvangirai must go,” he said adding that such decisions are made at national council meetings and endorsed by congress.
Tsvangirai told journalists at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare this afternoon that the issue has not even come up for discussion.
“I can’t in the middle of a struggle just abandon people. To what end, to what objective, to satisfy Zanu PF or to satisfy people who have grudges against me. I have a constituency which has given me a mandate and that’s the mandate I’m going to pursue until 2016,” he said.
He said the party’s National Council will also be taking action against self-exiled treasurer-general Roy Bennett, who called for his removal.
“We are dealing with the issue with the very simple objective of ensuring that the party has an agenda,” said Tsvangirai.
He said he had not failed as his defeat was only because the election was stolen.
“If the election is stolen you can’t ask for leadership renewal unless you have other motivations.”
Tsvangirai said councillors who defied party directives and voted for Zanu PF mayors may be recalled.
Councillors in the MDC-T controlled towns of Kwekwe, Redcliff and Victoria Falls voted for Zanu PF mayors while Gweru and Mutare MDC-T councillors defied party directives to elect preferred candidates.
Addressing, Tsvangirai said the party “has a right to recall the councillors” and may exercise that prerogative as early as next week after getting reports on the matter from the provincial executive committees.
“It’s about whether they (councillors) executed the position they had been mandated by the party,” said Tsvangirai. “The democratic process is already taking place whereby the councillors will have to answer to district councils whether they carried out the mandate they were given by the party.
“That information will be given to us as an executive next week and we will make a decision.”
Tsvangirai also took the opportunity to announce a 21-member shadow cabinet to “keep President Robert Mugabe’s government in check and ensure they meet their commitments to the people of Zimbabwe”.
Below is the MDC-T shadow cabinet:
The Shadow Cabinet will have five key priority areas;
International Relations and Co-operation: Gorden Moyo
Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources: Thamsanqa Mahlangu
Finance and Economic Development: Tendai Biti
Defence: Gift Chimanikire
Health and Child Welfare: Ruth Labode
Basic Education: Concilia Chinanzvavana
Higher Education Science and Technology: Peter Matarutse
Local Government: Sesel Zvidzai
Transport: Elias Mudzuri
Communications: Nelson Chamisa
Mines and Minerals Development: Abednico Bhebhe
Energy and Power Development: Morgen Komichi
Agriculture, Land and Water Development: Sipepa Nkomo
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs: Jesse Manjome
Home Affairs: Lilian Timveos
Industry and Commerce: Tapiwa Mashakada
Labour, Employment and Social Security: Paurina Mpariwa
Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development: Lucia Matibenga
Youth, Sport, Arts & Culture: Solomon Madzore
Public Works and National Housing: Joel Gabbuza