By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
25 March 2014
MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai and the ‘renewal team,’ a faction that has been advocating for his removal as party leader, have closed ranks and vowed on Tuesday to work together and embrace unity.
Last Friday the party’s standing committee held a five hour ‘no holds barred’ retreat at which some members spent half the time dodging verbal hand grenades thrown at them. In the end both sides agreed to bury the hatchet.
Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora struck an upbeat note about the situation in the party now, saying it was improving and he hoped a united opposition will emerge to deal with the pressing economic, social and political issues, created since President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party ‘won’ last year’s elections.
On Tuesday Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that following a national executive meeting of the party those that were trying to drive a wedge between Tsvangirai and secretary-general Tendai Biti have failed.
For the first time since the party was rocked by the infighting, Biti and other members of the renewal team attended a press conference addressed by Tsvangirai at Harvest House.
‘We’ve all put our egos and bruised feelings aside and come back and to do what is the right thing for our nation,’ said Mwonzora.
He confirmed rivals have closed ranks, at a time when the party was shaken by three months of bitter infighting, triggered by a four-page letter authored by the suspended deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma calling for Tsvangirai to step down.
‘We must train our guns against Mugabe and ZANU PF, not at our comrades,” he said, adding that everyone in the top party leadership have given their assurance that they will support Tsvangirai’s leadership.
Mwonzora said the coming four years will be crucial as the party gears up for the 2018 general election.
‘We don’t have any capital for party infighting. We should look at ways of revitalising ourselves and retain all members who left the party to join or form other political parties.’