Tsvangirai to turn on the charm

Morgan Tsvangirai is going to try charm to win over his detractors within the party

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
28 January 2014

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai, in his most crucial political fight, is to go on a massive charm offensive to reinforce his support base.

From next week Monday, Tsvangirai will embark on a tour of provinces and put the question of leadership renewal to the grassroots supporters, the majority of whom still back the former trade unionist.

A highly placed source told SW Radio Africa that Tsvangirai will begin his tour by visiting Manicaland province, where it is believed those orchestrating his removal have been operating from.

‘He plans to visit all the provinces and meet the structures from wards, districts and provincial leaders and hear their views on the leadership renewal, as well as articulate his plans for the party.

‘When he has finished with the provinces, Tsvangirai will ask the national council to convene a meeting where a motion will be moved to debate the leadership renewal with a view to tacitly decide on what needs to be done next,’ the source said.

Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora confirmed that Tsvangirai will be embarking on working visits to update the grassroots structures on the state of the party.

‘He will also receive feedback from the structures and help map the way forward as he seeks to ensure that the MDC is a structurally efficient organization,’ Mwonzora said.

Tsvangirai has indicated he will not be stepping down as demanded lately by his deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, whom he has accused of putting a price tag on his head following reports that he offered the party leader $3 million to relinquish power.

Since last Friday, when Mangoma’s open letter to Tsvangirai was discussed in a standing committee meeting, Tsvangirai has been on the phone to his allies seeking support and their views on the way forward.

This charm offensive seems to have worked. Since Friday, he has received support from the MDC-T’s women’s assembly, the youth league and several party stalwarts, who have used social media to attack Mangoma.

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