‘Tsvangirai trained bandits in S. Africa’

Mr Coltart

Mr Coltart

Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2006 trained bandits in South Africa in preparation for a violent takeover of power in Zimbabwe, a new book by former Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South David Coltart has revealed.

In his controversial memoirs, “The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe”, Mr Coltart – a founding secretary for legal affairs in the MDC – reveals how the split in the original party came about because of Mr Tsvangirai’s knack for violence.

According to Mr Coltart, Mr Tsvangira not only engaged in intra-party violence where he used “agents provocateurs” such as one Tonderai Ndira, but sought to escalate violence into a nationwide confrontation with the ruling Zanu-PF.

He said at party level, Mr Tsvangirai had become paranoid as he thought that there were efforts to muscle him out of leadership, especially when the party had proposed during constitutional amendments presented to Parliament that a national president needed to have at least a university degree.

He also felt that the only way he could wrestle power from Zanu-PF was through violence, says Mr Coltart.

It was on this basis that Mr Tsvangirai refused to participate in the re-introduced senatorial elections, causing the split of October 2005.

Mr Coltart says the use of violence, which was meted against officials such as Peter Guhu and Trudy Stevenson resulted in the split the party.

But, it was the training of bandits that shocked Mr Coltart, and which led him to cut ties with Mr Tsvangirai and opted to join the other faction that was then being led by Arthur Mutambara.

He said the training camp for MDC operatives in South Africa was being conducted “by ex-South African policemen under the supervision of an ex-Rhodesian soldier”.

“There was confusion as to whether the training was ‘offensive’ or ‘defensive’ but weapons were clearly involved,” says Mr Coltart.

“The South African National Defence Force had been bribed to allow these trained men back across the border,” he said.

Mr Coltart says he had learnt about the development from two journalists who had filmed the training operation.

He concluded that the operation “appeared to be chronically amateurish” and would also play into the hands of the ruling party.

“While I understood the desperation and helplessness that many felt in the face of Zanu-PF’s oppression, this was, in my view, a foolhardy response,” he writes.

“Even if one believed in a violent solution, the training was on such a small scale that it could never mount a serious challenge to Zanu-PF’s hegemony. What it would provide was the ideal excuse to crack down even harder on the MDC.

“The revelation was the final straw. Principle aside, I was unwilling to have any part of an organisation that was prepared to take such risks,” said the Bulawayo lawyer.

He said he wrote a circular to his constituents on May 23, telling them that MDC-T had “shown no inclination to deal with violence” and he could not join that party.

“All that was left for me to do now was to decide whether to stay in politics and, if so to get assurances from MDC-M that they would root out ‘the scourge of violence’”.

Mr Coltart said Mr Tsvangirai and his party were spoiling for “yet another war” in the country and took the risk to join the smaller MDC faction.

“I would rather lose my seat in Parliament than compromise certain principles, which are fundamental to my belief system,” he said.

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  • Judas Iscariot

    This is garbage,if Coltart as as credible as this reporter would want us to believe,why hasn’t the regime used this information as evidence to prosecute Tsvangirai? We know how quick this regime is, when it comes to charging it’s enemies with treason. The regime didn’t take these accusations seriously,i’m not taking them seriously,so should this reporter. If nothing else it’s an insult on our neighbors,that they allowed Tsvangirai to use their country as a base to mount insurgency against our military junta. Back to bread and butter issues please

    • Mupanduki ngaatongwe

      Coltart is right, this is not something to ignore but thorough investigations should be made, why are you Judas Iscariot rubbishing this so early? Are you one of th trained bandits?Well your name says it all Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and later on hanged himself.

  • Chiparamure

    We would surely have crushed the foolhardy chematama any day

    • Japana Hapana

      Just like as you have trashed and crashed the rest of zim for the past 35 years

  • @tura81

    So what…….

  • Sinyoro

    What a big yaaaawn!!!

  • Uncle Tino

    The funny part is every time when this paper reviews the sh** done by MDC all of the comments will be shouting badly to the writter l wonder if u guys are also part of the trained bandits. Face the real deal Tsvangirai is full of nonsense.

    • Mashangu rapata

      zuro chaiye anga ari Munangagwa aifuma about it why didnt u say pple are fuming

  • MweniTafara

    Try the scumbag for scheming sabotage.

  • blaz

    there is an escalation of high sounding accusations on Tsvangirai over recent time. We all know that this is a diversionary tactic.. there is a drought, joblessness and an effervescent political boiling pot in ZANU and they are ####.. all they resort to is story-telling and gullible reporting and vilification of the opposing voices. You have a mandate and simply deliver on your promises. Tsvee kuita zvinobatsira vanhu .. shame

  • Valembe

    So he learnt about this from “two journalists who filmed the training operation..”. Seems legit.

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    Hanya nani – mombe hairambidzwi kuita ndove.

    • Nonoe2

      I wish i was trained in that, at least I would have done something meaningful with a gun than with a pen

    • Nonoe2

      Do they take ladies, is the training camp still on, where can were find contact details, who is the training officer. Any registration fee. Entry qualifications. An geared to go

  • shiku

    vamwe vakaudzwa hondo nemugwere wepfungwa vakati anogwara uyu, kusvika nyika yaita seLibya.

  • MukarangawekuMberengwa

    Mapuruvheya kana oda mari anoreva nhema manje todoaziva hatibvumi zvenhema izvo

  • cde hondo

    What’s the name of your party by the way Mr Coltart ?

  • Munhu

    Coltart was duped by the CIO. If he believes Tsvangirayi was training anyone then he believes Jesus Christ is Bhuddha.

  • Dr Newton Galileo Einsten

    Oh Oh heraldonline – same writer had stuff on ED and we dismissed his book as it was fraught with lies. Now is it possible that the book has a true account on Tsvangson and a false one on ED?? and what ought we say when he goes deeper and reveals stuff we don’t want to hear, should we believe his book???

  • chacha

    i agree with you Dr Newton

  • chacha

    the book is only credible if it attacks anyone else outside the ruling party,what nonsense

  • Pastor Farie

    ………and life goes on.

  • SimonPetere

    Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk ha ha ha ha ha ha ….too early April 1st is not yet here. Ha ha ha muri. Don’t see Tsvangirai under every cup and saucer. Anotyiwa Morgan rega azonzi Chikara chezanu. Munohumana askana ask chii nhai

  • Bro Themba

    Zanu Pf new about this ,old story.They used this to gain an upper hand in the GPA negotioations hence The MDC parties were not allowed anywhere near the security ministries.Zanu Pf gave Sadcc detailed info about this. It has to be said that this happened at time when Zim was in crisis politically and the generals declaring that they wont salute a non war vet Pres.Even J Moyo admitted having had a casual chat with Richard Branson about resolving the political turmoil at the time.

  • Bro Themba

    yes they did but not enough evidence.

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Should we believe everything in Coltart’s book, or only that part? Coltart also says a lot of ugly stuff about the ruling party, remember that.