By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
28 July 2014
The MDC- Team Renewal announced its national executive Friday in a move which observers said was the clearest indication yet that the faction was on the verge of forming a separate political party.
A Herald report said of the 70 MDC-T legislators in both the National Assembly and the Senate, 19 have so far defected to the renewal team.
Faction leader Tendai Biti will chair the finance, administration and research functions of the team while Elton Mangoma will lead the informal sector and livelihoods committee.
Among other national executive members are Masvingo Central MP Jeffreyson Chitando who will be in charge of recruitment and Solomon Madzore of Dzivarasekwa, who will lead the organizing committee. Jacob Mafume will chair the communications committee while Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya will lead the labour and civic society committee.
Also included in the executive are Makokoba MP Gorden Moyo who recently resigned his post as MDC-T Chairman for Bulawayo, and former spokesman for the MDC-N faction Maxwell Zimuto. Moyo will lead the Diaspora and International relations committee while Zimuto was appointed to the recruitment and mobilization committee.
When the MDC-T’s Moyo quit the party he said it had been visited by ‘an angel of darkness’ but at the time refused to disclose his next move, amid speculation that he was headed to the Biti-led faction. While few will be surprised at these developments confusion remains as to how the party hopes to be distinguished from the Morgan Tsvangirai faction.
Journalist Itai Dzamara said by calling itself the MDC-Team Renewal the Biti-led faction was seeking to benefit from the credibility of the broader MDC-T. He said: ‘I don’t think they are in anyway ashamed of it because they want to capitalize on the name and brand of the party. Remember they initially tried to depose Tsvangirai; so they still want to benefit from the name of the main party.’
Dzamara said Biti’s group was using the name MDC-Team Renewal as a way to lure voters and to cleanse itself from the ZANU PF tag with which they have been tarred by their rivals.
Apart from the controversial name MDC-Team Renewal, the group said it will continue to use the open palm symbol but will drop Tsvangirai’s name from popular party statements. The team has also dropped the MDC-T’s red and adopted orange as its main colour.