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MDC-T Happy With Tsvangirai's Leadership After Election Defeat

Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
The Movement for Democratic Change has re-affirmed its confidence in Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership despite his shocking defeat by President Robert Mugabe in the disputed July 31 election.

The party’s national executive held a two-day no holds barred strategic planning meeting which ended in the capital Thursday.

Party insiders told VOA Studio 7 that sensing a lack of confidence in some party members about his leadership, Mr. Tsvangirai floated the idea of him stepping aside if the national executive felt he had failed. But the executive was unanimous in endorsing him.

Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the national executive expressed confidence in Tsvangirai’s leadership, pointing out that he had been a victim of alleged continuous rigging by Zanu-PF.

But sources who attended the meeting say the leadership was taken to task for the factionalism currently tearing the party apart, saying it contributed to the lack of cohesion and eventual electoral defeat.

Those singled out include Mr. Tsvangirai himself, party secretary general Tendai Biti, organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa and Women’s Assembly boss Teresa Makone. The standing committee of the party was also blasted for being out of touch with the grassroots.

The issue of MP-elect Arnold Tsunga, who defied Tsvangirai’s directive not to contest in Dangamvura-Chikanga in Manicaland to pave way for Tsvangirai’s preferred candidate Giles Mutsekwa, also became a lightning rod at the meeting.

Some party officials want him expelled and others say he must be pardoned. The explosive issue was not resolved. Sources say leadership cohesion was the major outstanding issue the party agreed needs to be resolved in the near future.
The leadership, in particular Tsvangirai, was urged to go back and consult the people regularly.

Mwonzora though preferred to speak with VOA Studio 7 on the emphasis placed by the meeting on how Zanu-PF allegedly rigged the July election and how this can be prevented in future.