THE MDC Team this week intensified efforts to wrest control of the party from veteran leader Morgan Tsvangirai by holding three provincial council meetings in Masvingo and the Midlands.
The Team’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that the “well attended meetings” had various objectives, chief among which was to inform party structures of the “suspension” of Tsvangirai along with his deputy Thokozani Khupe, organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora and other high-ranking party officials.
“We discussed several issues including the suspension of Tsvangirai and the top leadership,” Mafume said.
“We also informed our members that our Members of Parliament and councillors are safe in their positions and cannot be recalled by Tsvangirai and his associates as threatened.”
Mafume also said the meetings discussed the ideological realignment of the party focusing on “the recognition of the importance of the liberation struggle as part of our pan-African identity”. Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma addressed the Masvingo meeting while Samuel Sipepa Nkomo addressed two others in Gweru and Vungu in the Midlands province.
The MDC-T was rocked by a split following Mangoma’s letter to Tsvangirai calling on him to step down in the aftermath of the party’s disastrous showing in the harmonised elections of July which were overwhelmingly, but controversially, won by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
The letter triggered the suspensions and eventual expulsions of Mangoma, Biti and other MPs and councillors who sided with them. These subsequently re-constituted themselves into the MDC-Team which also suspended Tsvangirai and other senior party officials as the battle for control of the party intensifies.
Other members of the MDC Team are MPs Solomon Madzore, Willias Madzimure, Paul Madzore, Roselyn Nkomo, Moses Manyengavana, Watchy Sibanda, Evelyn Masaiti, Judy Mazhavave, Settlement Chikwinya and Reggie Moyo.— Staff Writers.'