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Tsvangirai's MDC Faction to Hold Meeting to Address Factionalism

Morgan Tsvangirai
Divisions in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) continued to widen Monday with the faction led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai calling for an urgent National Executive and National Council meeting at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare on Tuesday.

Party spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora said the meeting is expected to tackle discord in the MDC-T with party loyalists declaring that Tsvangirai is still the leader of the labor-backed party.

Mwonzora said, “We have called a meeting of the genuine National Council to put an end to the madness that’s there. So, the genuine members of the National Council are going to decide the fate of the party. It is important for a party like ours to stick to the constitution and that we do out work in terms of the dictates of the constitution of the party,” he said.

He noted that the MDC-T has invited the so-called party reformists to be National Council meeting.

“Of course they have to be there, especially the secretary general. If he chooses not to come then that’s his election but they have to be there. We have not chased them from the party at all,” said Mwonzora.

Delegates to the meeting, party sources said, will agree to expel members who attended another National Council meeting called by a rival faction Saturday led by party secretary general Tendai Biti.

Biti and his so-called leadership renewal team announced Saturday that they were expelling founding president Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokozani Khupe, among other top party leaders, for allegedly deviating from the MDC’s democratic founding principles.

Spokesman of the rival faction, Jacob Mafume, said they have written a letter to Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma asking him not to expel nine Members of Parliament who are backing their call for leadership renewal in the labor-backed movement.

Mafume also said they have not been invited to Tuesday’s meeting.

Efforts to get a comment from Zvoma were futile as his mobile phone went unanswered. The nine MPs who ditched Tsvangirai in support of Biti and his renewal team are brothers Paul and Solomon Madzore, Moses Manyengavana, Willius Madzimure, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Bekithemba Nyathi, Evelyn Masaiti and Washy Sibanda.

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga said factionalism in the MDC-T is unfortunate.