Ambitious officials fanning MDC-T split

Precious Shumba

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
08 May 2014

The problems in the MDC-T, where factionalism is ripping the party apart, have been blamed on top officials who have put their political ambitions ahead of what the majority of the party’s members want.

Battle lines were drawn in January when Elton Mangoma gave Morgan Tsvangirai a letter outlining the party president’s failures and suggesting that he steps down.

Instead of dealing with the issue privately, senior party officials saw an opportunity to rise through the ranks and launched scathing personal attacks on each other.

In his letter Mangoma queried what he said were Tsvangirai’s personal indiscretions and misuse of party funds.

Precious Shumba told SW Radio Africa that the fall-out was inevitable given that since its formation the MDC-T has been a movement of different interest groups.

Speaking on the Big Picture Programme, Shumba said the two MDC-T factions that are emerging have been plotting and counter-plotting since the early days of the party.

“The MDC was formed at the height of the citizens’ anger at the chaotic land reform, economic decline, and ZANU PF misrule and it became the channel through which to express this anger.

“It brought together different interest groups driven by this anger with ZANU PF. However, there still remain unresolved differences between those from the labour movement and academics,” Shumba said.

Shumba argued that this was also partly the reason why the party has failed to articulate a clear position on my issues, including whether or not to participate in elections.

“The party leadership have tended to be contradictory and to take a reactionary position, opposite to what they think ZANU PF wants without really demonstrating the kind of analysis and foresight that is needed in policy formulation.

“Now that the elections have come and gone we are seeing a lot of backbiting, accusations and counter-accusations and in the process the party has stopped pursuing the people’s mandate of fighting for better governance, transparency and accountability. As such, their own democratic credentials have come under scrutiny,” Shumba added.

He said during the bickering, the MDC-T had forgotten that what catapulted them to popularity were the people whose wishes they were supposed to represent. 

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