By Tererai Karimakwenda
SW Radio Africa
16 June, 2014
The serious infighting that led to a split in the MDC-T has continued to take its toll, as a senior official resigned his position in the Tsvangirai camp and others joined the so-called Renewal Team, led by Tendai Biti.
The Member of Parliament for Makokoba and Bulawayo Province chairperson, Gorden Moyo, submitted a letter of resignation from his position in the party on Friday, citing factionalism and violence among other issues.
The Southern Eye news site said Moyo is currently not taking sides and has refused to give up his seat in parliament, insisting this would give ZANU PF control of Bulawayo. He also said the MDC-T in its current weak state would lose a by-election to ZANU PF.
The move was immediately dismissed as a “non-event” by the MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, who referred to Moyo as a “newcomer” in that province and insisted the former Bulawayo Agenda director had not shown any leadership qualities.
This was followed by the news that the MP for Kuwadzana and former Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga, had not only resigned but had joined the Renewal Team, fronted by the former secretary general Tendai Biti.
More resignations were announced at a press conference in Manicaland on Friday, where the Manicaland provincial youth executive said they had made the “painful decision” to separate from Tsvangirai.
The Renewal spokesperson in Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, confirmed that the youths, led by chairman Dennis Simango, had joined their camp along with district chairpersons and national executive members from around the province. Muchauraya accused Tsvangirai of being “an enemy of democracy”.
“There are so many reasons but some are the failure by Tsvangirai to stick to the founding values of the party and the continued violation of the party constitution. The youths felt that he could therefore not be trusted with the national constitution and has become a liability,” Muchauraya explained.
He added: “He is so compromised he cannot face ZANU PF. He is staying at a ZANU PF house but at the same time trying to cheat people that he is fighting ZANU PF. So the youths felt that he is actually cheating the people.”
The former MDC-T spokesperson for Manicaland went further to accuse Tsvangirai of campaigning for another political party in the last election, saying he endorsed Simba Makoni for the seat in Makoni South, instead of the candidate that had been chosen by the party members.
But the MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, dismissed the Manicaland resignations as a “publicity stunt”, saying the youths had already left the party as far back as January this year and were only announcing it now to get publicity.
Biti himself was suspended by the MDC-T following calls to replace Morgan Tsvangirai as party president. The situation was further complicated when both sides claimed they now held parliamentary seats under the same party name.
This created a conflict in parliament that the ZANU PF speaker of the house handed over to the courts to resolve. The courts are also staffed with ZANU PF appointees, who now have to decide the fate of their opposition, as always.