Renewal team downplays huge attendances at Tsvangirai rallies

Morgan Tsvangirai speaking at an MDC-T rally

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
14 May 2014

The MDC-T faction calling itself the renewal team has said it is not concerned with the huge attendances of people at rallies addresssed by Morgan Tsvangirai, dismissing them as ‘rallies to nowhere.’

Jacob Mafume, spokesman for the Tendai Biti led faction described the gatherings as ‘rally tourism’ where people attend for praise and worship sessions.

The lawyer/politician told SW Radio Africa’s weekly Speak Out Padare program on Tuesday that numbers ‘don’t matter’, but what is important is offering solutions to the Zimbabwe crisis.

Mafume said even with the small number of MPs they have on their side, the renewal team will be able to contribute meaningful debate in Parliament. Since the split in the MDC-T in April, nine MPs joined the Biti faction while the Tsvangirai camp still has support from 82 legislators.

The MDC-T leader has in the past few weeks held several rallies that have seen thousands of party supporters attending each of them, compared to those addressed by the Biti camp.

“These rallies will not achieve (anything). They are rallies to nowhere and its not a cause for concern to us. Rally tourism will not achieve much, the country needs a sober approach to deal with the politics of today,” Mafume said.

He added: “In 2013, we held over a hundred with our President (Tsvangirai), compared to the ten held by President Robert Mugabe. And where are we now…we are just a ceremonial opposition.”

Mafume said the myth that rallies will produce a new Zimbabwe has been debunked over time, insisting that the more people indulge on the subject, the more they will get lost.

However MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora, came out all guns blazing in response to Mafume’s comments on their rallies. He said Mafume was prone to criticizing everything for every reason.

“The fact that people are thronging to our rallies means the message is resonating with our grassroots. We are holding these rallies to cement with the grassroots and to connect with the same people…it is very important to do this because they’re the same people we represent at the MDC-T,” said Mwonzora

He took a dig at the renewal’s team’s failure to attract crowds at their rallies, emphasizing that they will always struggle to do as they are ‘elitist’ and have no appeal to the masses.

“The so-called renewal team held a rally of 52 people in Manicaland recently. Of these 52, twelve were drivers who had come with Tendai Biti’s entourage, leaving 40 people. Of those 40, about 10 were members of the security and of the remaining 30, 17 were people who had travelled with Biti from Harare. This leaves 13 locals who attended the meeting,” explained Mwonzora.

6 Responsesto “Renewal team downplays huge attendances at Tsvangirai rallies”

  1. fujie says:


    • Ngal mademba diao says:

      Woe is morgan tsvangirai,clearly speaking one can realize that he did not draw any lesson from history.Time is up now for him to withdraw himself from political position and enable at the same time young political leaders to emerge.The same faults he was finding with Mr Mugabe is living now within his own self.When you defend democratic values,your political behaviour and your daily practices should be in compliance with principles.Mr tsvangirai has lasted at the top of the party,and this explain his tendancyto transform himself as a dictator.Now that a situation of bickering takes place within the MDC T ,sooner or later truth will spring up and will reveal the real nature of him.

  2. Sydney08 says:

    Jacob Mafume, is a fool that is why he decided to break away with another fool called Tendai Biti.If you are a political party and have no followers , you are doomed and going nowhere, look at Dumiso Dabengwa, Simba Makoni, and Welshman Ncube to learn your lessons.You are too deluded that you over estimated your influence.If people are not with you, there is absolutely nothing that you can achieve.You are now citing the fact that you had thousands of people who attended your cross over rallies and yet you are not in the government.Are you real normal in your mind? You do not know that Mugabe rigged those elections? I wish you live long so that you will witness the disclosure of Mugabe’s zealots when they are not in government, some of them will have the guts to reveal how they rigged those elections.Infact Morgan is right that ever since he contested elections against Mugabe, he has never lost.If you want to believe Mugabe’s lies, continue living under the old man’s spell.You will wake up one day and then your eyes will be open.

  3. dumbu says:

    Biti is just wasting his time for nothing. No one could follow this stupid traitor.

  4. Sambarafuta says:

    Biti and Mangoma are right. We need transparent leaders who do not help themselves to party funds. Tsvangirai took liberty with party funds and now the party is broke. We need exemplary leaders who are not libido driven. Morgan does not think but his sexual appetite drives him. We need decisive leaders who are not easily manipulated. Morgan was manipulated by Bob and played second fiddle to the old fox throughout the life of GNU. Bob directed Morgan not to appoint Bennett as deputy agriculture minister and Morgan foolishly complied!

  5. Simbarashe Runokunda says:

    The whole debacle should not be approached in an emotional way. Mangoma and Biti rushed ignoring the democratic principles they prophecy to follow. They should have challenged for leadership at a conference scheduled for 2016. it was very wrong for them to want to humiliate their leader in the face of the rigged elections that MDC had suffered. Their impatience, therefore, has plunged them into a political quagmire and they shall never rise again. I don’t think Tsvangirai was supposed to step down before achieving the goal of being leader of Zimbabwe.

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