ACRIMONY and internecine battles within MDC-T structures following the July 31 general elections defeat have resulted in the sudden resignation of former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s national security advisor, Pearson Mbalekwa.
The 61-year-old former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officer joined the MDC-T in 2007 as a special advisor to Tsvangirai and then moved up the ladder to the post of national security advisor after Dr Martin Rupiya unceremoniously quit.
Mbalekwa served in the CIO for 12 years.
Mbalekwa, also a former Zanu PF MP and central committee member, resigned on Wednesday in protest over what he described as warped policies, indiscipline and lack of trust by the party’s top brass who doubted his loyalty because of his intelligence background.
In an exclusive interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, an emotional Mbalekwa said he would now concentrate on his personal life
“I have quit with effect from today (Wednesday). I held a meeting with the president (Morgan Tsvangirai) and advised him of the same,” Mbalekwa said. “I was not employed by the MDC-T but by the former prime minister and since that office is no longer in existence, I have no job. I have decided to retire from politics entirely and live a private life.”
But impeccable sources said they could see him quitting from the outset because senior party members accused him of leaking information to Zanu PF, an invidious situation which led to Mbalekwa spending three years in a nominal appointment without a job description.
Mbalekwa, whose employment was never formalised with the Public Service Commission, was forced to come with his own job description, but still his advice on security matters fell on deaf ears.
The sources said Mbalekwa was denied the necessary resources despite several requests and forced to use his own money to get work done. Mbalekwa, the sources said, was sidelined in the period leading to the polls, and was without knowledge of either the campaign programme or his boss’s diary.
This was despite assurances from Tsvangirai he would be part of the campaign team.
“I was living in hell,” Mbalekwa said before breaking down. “I never sold out, never sold out, but senior party members accused me of selling information to Zanu PF. They said because I was linked to (Emmerson) Mnangagwa, I would sell party secrets to him. But guess what, I have not spoken to Mnangagwa for the past five or so years until just last week. He is my relative.”
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said he is not aware of Mbalekwa’s resignation. “I know nothing of that nature,” he said.
On whether he would rejoin Zanu PF, Mbalekwa replied: “Not with its current leadership.”