By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
6 February 2014
Former Prime Minister and leader of the MDC-T, Morgan Tsvangirai, will next week call on his party to unify and end the in-fighting when he meets chairmen from the party’s 210 districts.
The party will hold a strategic executive retreat on Friday next week followed by an indaba on Saturday with all the district leaders from around the country. The meeting on Saturday will also be attended by all standing committee members.
Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora confirmed that at least four members from each of the 12 provincial executives will attend the Saturday meeting.
‘This is a feedback meeting for the President to put across his plans for the future of the party. It will be attended by members of the standing committee, 210 district chairpersons and 48 provincial leaders representing 12 provinces,’ Mwonzora said.
Political analyst Mutsa Murenje told SW Radio Africa that Tsvangirai has to show strong leadership in the aftermath of the disappointing electoral results and go back to the drawing board.
‘He simply needs to go back to the grassroots and ask what went wrong. He will get all the answers there because and work on those to rectify whatever mistakes they did.
‘The party needs to revisit the issue of imposition of candidates, which I regret to say played a significant role in the outcome of the results. There was also disconnect between leadership of the party and the grassroots when they entered the unity government, a situation which led to their structures not bothering to register and vote,’ Murenje said.
It is believed Tsvangirai will use the retreat to outline his party’s plans to build a stronger and viable opposition party, free of disunity.
A source told us Tsvangirai may use the opportunity to read the riot act to ‘rebels’, warning they threaten to ‘kill’ the party amid reports that the ‘lack of discipline’ in the party is helping divert attention from ZANU PF’s catastrophic failure to manage the economy.
Next week’s meetings come at a time when the veteran former trade unionist is fending off a surprise challenge to his leadership from within his own senior ranks.
The internal revolt marked Tsvangirai’s toughest challenge since the last elections, when a flurry of senior party officials seemed intent on abandoning him, seeking to force a leadership contest.
So far he has survived that confrontation and his supporters took heart in signs that the call for a vote on his leadership by senior party members appeared to be gaining only limited traction.