Tsvangirai, Mwonzora clash

Power struggles in the opposition MDC-T escalated yesterday, with party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai lambasting one of his lieutenants for endangering electoral co-operation in the MDC Alliance.

Party secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora told a local daily that MDC-T will field candidates in all parliamentary constituencies in 2018 harmonised elections.

This drew fire from MDC Alliance members who argued that this was contrary to a seat allocation matrix agreed upon by their principals.

The alliance comprises Transform Zimbabwe, Multi-Racial Christian Democrats, MDC-T, ZimPF, People’s Democratic Party, MDC and Zanu Ndonga.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Tsvangirai fumed: “The statement published in the NewsDay of today (yesterday) purportedly under my authority but issued by our secretary-general is unfortunate, misleading and grossly false.

“I would like to state categorically that the MDC-T entered into an electoral alliance agreement in good faith with its partners on August 5, 2017. That agreement includes seat allocation and is binding on all parties. The MDC-T Election Directorate will issue guidelines on candidate selection for seats allocated to it, and such guidelines are yet to be issued out.

“The agreement is informed by our National Council resolutions of December 2016 and August 2017 and cannot, therefore, be rescinded by a personal opinion of a leader . . .  In addition, our secretary-general or any other leader other than the president has no authority to speak on matters pertaining to the alliance unless authorised to so by myself and such authority was not given to him.”  In the NewsDay report, Mr Mwonzora revealed that his party was selecting candidates as the alliance was yet to agree on constituency selection.

MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube, however, reportedly claimed an agreement on the matter had been reached, while Transform Zimbabwe’s Justin Makota labelled MDC-T “dishonest”.

Commenting on the escalation of power struggles in the MDC-T, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Clearly, there are some criminals surrounding Mr Tsvangirai. It looks like the MDC-T needs their own Operation Restore Order, except that they don’t have generals.”

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