After opening reconciliation talks with fellow opposition officials who disagree with him on whether Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change should contest November senate elections, party president Morgan Tsvangirai relaunched a series of rallies intended to persuade party members to follow his election boycott call.
On Friday afternoon Mr. Tsvangirai was speaking to MDC supporters in Silobela, a town in Midlands North province where three politicians defied him by registering to contest the Nov. 26 elections in which 50 of 66 upper house seats will be filled.
Mr. Tsvangirai told a cheering crowd that the MDC will not abandon its commitment to improving life for the mass of Zimbabweans, especially the poor.
He said the debate on the senate was not the real issue in the intra-party dispute, because a truly united party would never have come to the brink of a schism over the question of whether to participate in the elections or boycott them.
Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe heard Mr. Tsvangirai’s speech in Shona over a cell phone from Washington, and filed a report.