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Tensions High as MDC-T Purges Continue

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tensions remain high in the MDC formation led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as the so-called leadership renewal purge continues.

Tsvangirai’s supporters are said to be targeting colleagues backing the call for the veteran trade unionist and MDC founding leader to resign and pave way for new leadership in time for the 2018 national elections.

In Manicaland suspended provincial leaders are digging in, refusing to accept suspension letters from the party for allegedly fomenting divisions in the labour-backed party after openly challenged or supporting those calling on the former Premier to step down as party leader.

At the weekend a group of disgruntled placard-waving MDC-T supporters demonstrated at the party’s offices in Mutare denouncing House of Assembly members Innocent Gonese (Mutare Central), Prosper Mutseyami (Musikavanhu) and Arnold Tsunga (Dangamvura- Chikanga).

The three are being targeted for allegedly supporting the leadership renewal call. Gonese, however, has been openly backing Tsvangirai and attended his rallies in the province at the weekend.

The demonstrators were addressed by Tsvangirai who was in the province to address two rallies.

“We have heard your concerns and we will take with us all your written grievances and address them later,” Tsvangirai told the protesters being dismissed as ‘hired crowds’ by the faction calling for leadership renewal.

The demonstrators continued to hurl insults at the MDC-T’s provincial leadership, all believed to be against Tsvangirai’s continued leadership.

Manicaland spokesman, Pishai Muchauraya, who refuses to accept his suspension from the party pending a disciplinary hearing, told VOA the party is failing to observe its own constitution.

The purges have affected a number of provinces now, including Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo.

Organizing secretary, Nelson Chamisa, could not be reached for comment. His deputy Abednico Bhebhe said “normally we do not comment on such matters as a party.”