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MDC-T: Tsvangirai Not Negotiating With Party Rebels

Warring Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) faction leaders, Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai. (AP Photos/Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo)
The MDC-T has dismissed reports of attempts to mend relations among feuding party heavyweights pitting founding president Morgan Tsvangirai with a faction allegedly led by expelled secretary general Tendai Biti.

In a statement, the MDC-T says there is no mediation taking place “whatsoever between the party and the rebels who have now been expelled by the National Council.”

“We note with concern the false narrative to the effect that Mrs. Sekai Holland is leading mediation efforts between the MDC and the rebels led by the former secretary-general, Hon. Tendai Biti.

“In the party, Mrs. Holland is the chairperson of the Guardians Council and has not been mandated to play any other role. In any case, the National Council of the party has not sanctioned any mediation efforts between the party and the rebels.”

The party further said the recent announcement by the reformists that they have formally charged the party president and will soon bring him before a disciplinary hearing “is not consistent with any form of mediation either taking place or about to take place.”

The MDC-T said, “We see no reason to re-engage with people who have openly confessed to be working Zanu PF and state security agents.”

Studio 7 can reveal that the acting chairperson of the party’s Guardians Council met separately with party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and renewal team leader Tendai Biti to discuss fissures affecting the party.

Though Mrs. Holland could not be drawn into disclosing what she discussed with the two warring leaders, sources say the meetings were part of efforts by the Guardians Council to mediate between the two factions.

Friction continues between the two factions with the renewal team formally charging Mr. Tsvangirai with 17 counts of violating the party’s constitution. They now want him to appear before a three-man disciplinary committee.

Mrs. Holland, who said she was invited by Mr. Tsvangirai to the meeting, noted that her council is only playing an advisory role as they do not have mediation skills.
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MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said no mediation is taking place, adding that Tsvangirai will not appear before the renewal team’s disciplinary committee.
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Renewal team spokesman Jacob Mafume said they were not aware of any efforts to bring the two factions together.
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