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MDC-T Leaders Deny Split

Movement For Democratic Change supporters
Movement For Democratic Change supporters
The MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is denying reports in the Independent Weekly that the party is split between Tendai Biti, the party’s secretary general, and Nelson Chamiso, its organizing secretary.

Addressing a joint press conference with Biti and Chamisa, party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the report in last week’s weekly Independent newspaper was “false and mischievous.”

Biti said the report was hurtful to him and Chamisa.The latter described the report as fiction, saying the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had instructed its lawyers to take measures against the journalist who wrote the story and the publication itself.

Biti and Chamisa denied any succession fights, saying they both support party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in his bid to run for president in the election later this year.

Biti said the unity government principals would determine the precise date for the election, but said the MDC-T expects the elections in July this year.

He added that while there was agreement on a new, draft constitution, there are several key reforms - particularly of the media sector and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission - that must be completed before elections can be held.

Biti called violence the greatest challenge to Zimbabwe’s elections and urged the unity government to properly fund the Joint Operations and Implementation Committee so that it may effectively deal with cases of violence not only in and around Harare, but in districts and wards around the country.

Biti added that the MDC wants the security sector to respect the new constitution, which says the security services must be independent of politic parties, saying this would be a key assurance to Southern African Development Community and the African Union that Zimbabwe is ready for elections.