Unite: Tsvangirai urges factions

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MDC-T leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, over the weekend summoned warring factions in Masvingo Province and ordered them to work together ahead of the elective party congress scheduled for Bulawayo at the end of this month.

Factionalism had rocked the MDC-T in the province with two distinct factions having emerged. One was led by Youth Development deputy minister Tongai Matutu while the other was headed by Public Service minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.

The MDC-T leader met the two warring camps at the Civic Centre on Saturday where he ordered them to work together and accept the results of the party’s restructuring exercise.

“We used to have elections within the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and those elections were held along factional lines,” said Tsvangirai.

“However, we used to shake hands to congratulate winners after the polls and this is what you are lacking. Shake hands to accept defeat and start working together as one party.”

Tsvangirai said: “The provincial leadership has a task ahead which is to make sure that those who lost during the party’s restructuring exercise are united with those who won the polls. After all, you are one family.”

The MDC-T had been plunged into chaos following provincial elections which saw Wilstaff Sitemere retaining his post as chairman after beating Harare businessman Bernard Chiondegwa.

Sitemere garnered 463 votes against Chiondegwa’s 403 in elections which were supervised by National Housing minister Joel Gabbuza.

In the run-up to the provincial elections, youths loyal to Eliphas Mukonoweshuro had allegedly assaulted youths loyal to the Matutu camp as tempers flared ahead of the polls.

After the provincial elections, losing candidates had petitioned Tsvangirai arguing the polls were not free and fair.