MDC-T president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s hint that he may soon retire from politics has plunged the opposition party into chaos, exposing the party’s internal fights, as some of its senior officials yesterday boycotted a key meeting. Mr Tsvangirai, who is suffering from cancer of the colon, on Monday hinted he may retire from politics, saying that a younger generation of politicians should take over the party’s reigns.
This threw the already faction-ridden party into chaos as battle-lines are said to be drawn over the succession of the opposition leader. The party is fiercely divided along two factions angling to succeed Mr Tsvangirai: one allegedly led by Dr Thokozani Khupe and another fronted by Mr Nelson Chamisa. The cracks were exposed yesterday as the MDC-T held its national organising and elections directorate meeting chaired by its acting president, Engineer Elias Mudzuri.
Dr Khupe and Mr Chamisa, among other senior officials, were allegedly conspicuous by their absence. The party’s spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu yesterday revealed that the two senior party’s leaders did not attend the meeting. “On Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Harvest House, acting president Elias Mudzuri chaired the MDC national organising and elections directorate meeting,” he said.
“The meeting was attended by the deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, treasurer-general Theresa Makone, deputy national organising secretary,Amos Chibaya, secretary for information and publicity Obert Gutu, secretary for elections, Murisi Zwizwai, chief of staff Sesel Zvidzai, directors of various departments and several other senior staff members.”
Mr Gutu did not clarify the reason why the other deputies did not attend the meeting. Sources within the opposition party said their absence was a result of divisions in the MDC-T. It’s not the first time for senior party officials to boycott the party’s programmes.
Last year, Dr Khupe boycotted party events after she and her lieutenants, who include national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo, party’s national organising secretary Mr Abednigo Bhebhe, were bashed allegedly for protesting against the formation of the MDC Alliance. Mr Gutu said Mr Tsvangirai will remain the party’s presidential candidate despite his failing health.
“Contrary to recent Press reports that suggested that president Tsvangirai will soon be stepping down from the leadership of the party, the fact of the matter is that president Tsvangirai remains the leader of the MDC and he is the MDC presidential candidate for the 2018 elections,” said Mr Gutu. He said the party was gearing for elections and will soon start campaigning through rallies.