IN our issue of October 25-31 2013, we exclusively revealed how MDC-T deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and the party’s organising secretary Nelson Chamisa were covertly plotting to oust their leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Recent events within the MDC-T suggest that we were spot-on.
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, who this week appeared to have emerged unscathed from a crucial national executive meeting last Friday following the publication by the media of Mangoma’s damning statement which called for the MDC-T leader to step down, is still in a panic mode amid stunning revelations of deep-rooted divisions which erupted in the meeting, it has emerged.
The embarrassing spate has seen Mangoma and his allies who include some senior members of the Rhodesian establishment in the MDC-T who include the likes of exiled treasurer general Roy Bennett, Iain Kay, former Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president Ben Freeths among others calling for leadership renewal in the MDC-T.
This has prompted a furious rebuke from one of the party’s top officials and Tsvangirai’s close ally Obert Gutu who reportedly described the moves by the Rhodesians as ‘racist’.
Ironically the MDC-T has failed to answer questions on its links with the country’s former colonisers.
Chamisa was reportedly fingered as the one who leaked Mangoma’s document to the media, it also emerged.
Impeccable sources who spoke to The Patriot this week said contrary to the statement issued by party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora that the Mangoma issue had been ‘resolved’, the meeting failed to decisively deal with succession debate in the party.
Tsvangirai, the sources said, failed to answer five key and probing questions asked by Mangoma in his now infamous letter and is still searching for a way out from what he sees as ‘mess’ created by Mangoma.
Instead, his lieutenants leapt to his defence while those aligned to the Mangoma faction stood their ground increasing their calls for Tsvangirai to step down.
There were also unconfirmed reports that members of the Tsvangirai factions mocked Mangoma’s disability and threatened to throw him out of the building.
Following Tsvangirai’s dismal ousting in the July 31 2013 polls, cracks have been widening each passing day with a growing chorus for Tsvangirai to step down.
“Do not be fooled my brother by what Mwonzora is saying in the media because nothing was resolved in that meeting,” said one of the sources.
“The truth is that Tsvangirai’s position is still not safe in the party because it will be difficult for Mangoma and his people to just fold their hands when they have reached this far in their quest to have Tsvangirai removed from office.
“Remember Mangoma is being backed by the likes of Bennett and they are rich, powerful and can influence donors who have supported us through and through.”
The Mangoma faction has reportedly created parallel structures from which they control funds from donors.
Another executive member who refused to be named said so heated was the meeting that some party officials almost exchanged blows.
“It was an emotional meeting where logic never took precedence. There were accusations and counter-accusations,” he said.
“There was nothing to write home about except accusations and counter accusations and people wanting to entrench their positions through exchanging blows, but the truth of the matter is that we emerged from that meeting more divided than before.”
Despite the public declarations of an end to the Tsvangirai and Mangoma feud, not many are convinced.
Ndaba Nhuku, who says he has inside knowledge of the goings-on in the MDC-T, this week posted on his facebook page that, Tsvangirai was lying that he had resolved his problems with Mangoma.
“Anyway, why has Tsvangirai created parallel party structures in the party if he is a democratic leader?” he said
“Why lie to you and me that he is now friends with Elton Mangoma in order to silence the call for changing the way he is leading the party?
“Tsvangirai is simply trying to cheat donors by releasing a dove of peace to a naïve donor community.
“I am aware Morgan Tsvangirai simply wants to replace Elton Mangoma with Ian Makone and Chalton Hwende in a very undemocratic procedure.”
As if to hit back at his critics, Tsvangirai and his faction proposed a cocktail of reforms for his party.
The so-called reforms include among others the establishment of a fundraising committee which will be headed by Tsvangirai’s deputy Thokozani Khupe.
Key party business will also be conducted at Tsvangirai’s Highlands mansion, itself a key feature of Mangoma’s protests.
This week, Tsvangirai met diplomats to ‘appraise’ them of the state of affairs in the country in what MDC-T insiders said was an attempt by their leader to ‘flex’ his muscle and ‘show the outside world that he is still in charge of affairs’ in the party.
While Tsvangirai appears to have conquered thus far, indications are that the party is headed for yet another split.
Whether he will survive the forthcoming onslaught remains to be seen in the next coming few days.