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Divisions Over Constitutional Reforms Rock MDC-T

Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. (File Photo/Thomas Chiripasi)

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has been rocked by divisions on key constitutional reforms, ahead of the party’s congress in October.

The divisions center on accusations that Mr. Tsvangirai is trying to amend the party constitution, to give himself more powers.

Refuting this, the former prime minister Thursday released a statement saying he would not allow the process to degenerate into the creation of an all-powerful president like his nemesis, President Robert Mugabe, whom he labelled a dictator.

The party is in the process of gathering views from its provinces ahead of a review of the constitution after some senior party officials led by former secretary general Tendai Biti broke ranks and formed an outfit called MDC Renewal Team.

Biti’s move follows a similar action by the party’s former secretary general Welshman Ncube, who, in 2005, parted ways with Tsvangirai, to form his own party, in disagreement with Tsvangirai’s decision to boycott the senate.

Party insiders attribute Tsvangirai’s radical reforms and efforts to concentrate power, to the actions of Biti and Ncube.

Sources also say a group in the party is pushing for the dissolution of the Standing Committee.

There is also a push for congress to fill only six-top positions, and give the party president power to solely appoint a secretary general, organising secretary and information secretary.

Some MDC members want the party to adopt the constitution of the African National Congress in South Africa, arguing that it provides for a secretary general who is not in government, and not involved in the party’s administration.

Luke Tamborinyoka, spokesperson for Mr. Tsvangirai, said his boss does not believe in arrogating power to individuals.