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MDC Factions Pursue Separate Pre-Congress Courses

Movement for Democratic Change President Morgan Tsvangirai said party members who lined up behind Secretary General Welshman Ncube on taking part in November senate elections are welcome to join his anti-senate faction - but he he warned the window of opportunity will close once his faction holds its congress in February.

An MDC National Council loyal to Tsvangirai was set to meet on Saturday to set a date for the congress, which will choose a new leadership slate for that faction of the opposition party, now deeply divided over personality and power issues as well as the original question of whether to contest the senate election called by the ruling party.

Both factions are proceeding with separate pre-congress meetings in the provinces, pointing to separate national congresses and a definitive split with one of the critical issues still pending is which faction will have the right to the MDC name.

Reporter Blessing Zulu for VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asked Tsvangirai for his view of developments in recent weeks as the two factions have gone their own ways.

Reporter Zulu also spoke with pro-senate faction leader Ncube, who rejected charges from the Tsvangirai camp that his followers have violated the MDC party constitution by holding as many as four provincial congresses in one day at the same location.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...