Confusion as MDC-T rebels “suspend” Tsvangirai

Sam Sipepa Nkomo chaired the weekend meeting that moved to ‘suspend’ Morgan Tsvangirai

By Tererai Karimakwenda
SW Radio Africa
28 April 2014

The chaos that has engulfed Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC-T party reached a new peak this weekend as a faction that has been calling for leadership renewal held a meeting and voted to “suspend” party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and several other top party officials.

Led by secretary general Tendai Biti, who has been at the forefront of calls to replace Tsvangirai, the meeting was held Saturday at the Mandel Training Centre in Harare and attended by many party officials, including Elton Mangoma, Solomon Madzore and Sam Sipepa Nkomo, who chaired the meeting.

The MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora wasted no time responding to the ‘rebels’ actions, dismissing the meeting itself as “unconstitutional” and nullifying the resolutions made. Mwonzora immediately announced that they would notify parliament to remove all ‘rebel’ MPs who had attended the ‘unconstitutional and illegal meeting.’

But Sipepa Nkomo told SW Radio Africa that the meeting was legally constituted and Biti had the power to convene such a gathering. He said the meeting was attended by chairpersons from 9 out of the 12 provinces, as well 138 out of 176 National Council members who qualified to vote. This was enough to provide a quorum.

Sipepa Nkomo explained that the agenda was to discuss the current situation in the party, especially the violence, suspensions, abuse of power by top leaders and the economic crisis that has gripped the country.

The delegates voted to suspend party president Morgan Tsvangirai, vice president Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo, deputy national chairman Morgen Komichi and spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora. Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abednico Bhebhe were also suspended.

Sekai Holland, who served as Minister for Healing and Reconciliation in the unity government, was appointed the interim president.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora provided conflicting figures on the ‘illegal’ meeting, insisting in a statement that only 33 out of 195 members of the National Council had attended Biti’s meeting. He described the gathering as “an attempt at an awkward coup d’état by people who are apparently afraid to face the electorate at congress”.

The statement also alleged that the meeting was part of “a sustained programme of both overt and covert operations involving ZANU PF, state security agents, Welshman Ncube and the Zimbabwe Institute”. As such “no lawful and binding resolutions can derive from it.” (The Zimbabwe Institute is a donor funded, political think tank that “seeks to facilitate dialogue between the political parties in Zimbabwe, and thereby support a culture of multi-partyism in the country.”)

Sipepa Nkomo dismissed the allegations, saying: “Mwonzora has stooped down too low. During the liberation war Ian Smith saw communists behind every bush. Now they are seeing Welshman Ncube everywhere and it’s a cover-up for their own failings.”

Zimbabweans following these events were left with much confusion as the two camps both used the party constitution to defend their actions. Both have threatened legal action and insist their MPs in parliament are safe from removal.

The National Standing Committee of the Tsvangirai camp met on Monday to try to map a way forward. Meetings of the national executive and council were scheduled for Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), the labour group that was key to the formation of the MDC-T and Tsvangirai’s strongest ally, moved to support him and to dismiss the rebels, saying they had “taken the road to political oblivion”.

Despite many attempts we were unable to contact Tendai Biti for comment.

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7 Responsesto “Confusion as MDC-T rebels “suspend” Tsvangirai”

  1. Wilbert Mukori says:

    If any MDC leaders and supporters had carried out an post election analysis of way Mugabe had been able to blatantly rig the July 2013 elections then they would have come up with one conclusion – he rigged the elections because none of the reforms agreed in the GPA had been implemented.

    MDC had the majority in parliament and cabinet, the support of SADC and five years to implement the reforms and yet failed to get even one reform implemented. Not even one! The consequences of the failure to implement the reform is the return of the Zanu PF dictatorship back into power and the economic and political ramifications of that are the nightmare we see everywhere in Zimbabwe.

    The only reason why the reforms were not implemented was the breath-taking incompetence of the MDC leadership; Tsvangirai, Biti the lot.
    If any MDC leader or supporter had carried out this analysis then sure the call for leadership renewal was both logical and necessary. The party has been dragged into this totally meaningless tag-of-war because most of the key players have failed to understand the seriousness of the party’s dismal poor performance throughout the GNU years.

    Both Tsvangirai and Biti have been political mortally wounded by the party’s failure to grasp the critical importance of implementing the democratic reforms. They infighting is as meaningless as two crabs about to be cooked fighting for who cares what!

    The MDC will continue to enjoy public support as long as the Zimbabwe electorate remain blissfully ignorant of how it was the breath-taking incompetence of the party that landed the nation in this hell-hole. As the penny drops MDC will see the masses in red baseball caps and headscarves all disappear like mist under the African sun!

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Oh my pikinini boy, the so-called implementation of political and security reforms you have been so obsessed since 2008, were not going to be forced down the throat of the ZANU PF leadership. Of course, all the toads in MDC-T tried their best to ensure the foolish reforms you always talk about were implemented but were met with stiff resistance from the ruling political party, ZANU PF.
      Anything that threatened a the existence of the ruling political party, ZANU PF, could not have been implemented and should not be thought of today, come rain, come sunshine. ZANU PF will continue to protect its political, social and economic interests to the bitter end. It will not succumb to any foreign agendas, the MDC formations are representing in Zimbabwe. All patriotic sons and daughters of this country will continue to fight tooth and nail in their quest to protect their hard won sovereinity and independence by resisting any attempt by people with a hidden foreign agenda on Zimbabwe.

      • SlapTheZanuMonkey says:

        Whit a complete idiot!! You surely cannot believe any of the sh*t that you spew out daily in the name of Zanu PF. Get a life Racist Baboon!!

        • Wilbert Mukori says:

          He supported the tyrant Mugabe and even shed innocent blood in Mbare and the prospect of the regime collapsing is frightening the daylight out of him. He has to write all this nonsense to prop himself up and restore the mistaken belief that Mugabe will rule forever and he and all the other thugs are above the law.

          The wheels of justice turn slowly but they do turn! He knows the regime’s days are numbered and he will be nabbed soon thereafter!

          He thought of going back to Zimbabwe after the rigged July elections but the wife must have told him to f off!

          He is “a complete idiot” alright. Well idiot or not he has earned his hangman’s rope and he must now wear it! I will see to it that he does! For the sake of ensuring that this madness is never again repeated, I will see this through.

      • Wilbert Mukori says:

        There is no doubt that Mugabe and Zanu PF would have tried they very best to resist an attempt at dismantling the Zanu PF dictatorship but let us deal with what HAPPENED and not what MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED.
        MDC never submitted any democratic reform proposals NOT EVEN ONE!

      • Wilbert Mukori says:

        There is no doubt that Mugabe and Zanu PF would have tried they very best to resist an attempt at dismantling the Zanu PF
        dictatorship but let us deal with what HAPPENED and not what MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED.

        “MDC-T tried their best to ensure the foolish reforms you always talk about were implemented but were met with stiff
        resistance” from Mugabe and Zanu PF, you claim. I do not know whether MDC –T failing to come up with even one reform proposal can ever be considered to be constitute
        “MDC-T tried their best” but that could be you mocking them. But saying to then say Mugabe and Zanu PF offered “stiff resistance” is pure nonsense. MDC did not produce not even one reform proposal so how could the tyrant have resisted
        something that was no there!

        MDC never submitted any democratic reform proposals NOT EVEN ONE! That is a historic fact.

        Mugabe was able to blatantly rig the 2013 elections because none of the reforms which would have ended the tyrant’s
        dictatorial control of the key institutions of government such as the Police, ZEC, etc. had been implemented. That is a historic fact.

        Mugabe thought he would get away with rigging the elections, since everyone blamed Tsvangirai and MDC’s breath-taking
        incompetence for not getting the reforms implemented. He has since learnt that was not going to happen, by rigging the elections he was not just cheating Tsvangirai but the people of Zimbabwe. He and his cohorts were committing high
        treason against the people of Zimbabwe.

        Mugabe and his gang of criminals will be held to account for this serious crime which, by its very nature, threatens the
        stability of the whole nation and the lives of millions if the nation was to be dragged into a civil war. Rigging elections is not to be tolerated and we must make an example of Mugabe and his thugs that we take such treasonous crimes very, very seriously!

        As soon as we have dealt with those guilty of vote rigging we will swiftly deal with those with blood of innocent Zimbabweans on their hands, which are people like you Chimbwido. I have not forgotten you so you not feel left out. I gave you my promise and, unlike people like Mugabe, I do keep my promises.

    • SlapTheZanuMonkey says:

      Well said Wilbert you hit the nail on the head!!

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