Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC-T leader, has been sucked into the fracas that rocked the party’s headquarters last week when a heated debate degenerated into a near fistfight involving top party officials.
MDC-T insiders accused Tsvangirai of “playing behind the scenes” in the chaos that rocked Harvest House in Harare last Wednesday where a debate degenerated into a brawl pitting senior party officials.
But MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora immediately dismissed accusations against Tsvangirai as “hogwash and nonsense”.
Chaos broke out during an MDC-T national executive meeting after debate over leaked United States diplomatic cables degenerated into a verbal altercation and a near-exchange of blows.
Insiders yesterday said Tsvangirai’s failure to bring the meeting to order raised suspicion the former trade unionist could have been behind the friction.
“Tsvangirai’s hand is involved in all this because it is strange for senior members to have the guts to cause chaos in front of him,” said an insider.
Tsvangirai reportedly chaired the meeting.
The insiders said Tsvangirai should put his cards on the table and make known his real position regarding the WikiLeaks disclosures and not hide behind other party members.
The MDC-T leader has said the WikiLeaks disclosures were a non-event and his party would not dwell on them.
But some party members raised the issue last Wednesday, resulting in the wild scenes.
Amid the chaos, Tsvangirai reportedly told the meeting the ghost of October 12, 2005 had returned to haunt them.
The original party, formed in 1999, split after Tsvangirai clashed with then secretary-general Welshman Ncube over policy differences.
Last week’s clashes pitted Senator Morgan Femai and Thamsanqa Mahlangu, Nkulumane MP, against national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and Charlton Hwende, a member of the national executive of MDC-T.
Party spokesperson Mwonzora dismissed accusations against his boss saying: “It is hogwash and nonsense. It comes from people who are clearly sponsored by Zanu PF to denigrate and malign Tsvangirai.”
Mwonzora added: “During the meeting, the president (Tsvangirai) made clear his position on WikiLeaks and that he would not hold any grudge against anyone in connection with WikiLeaks. To suggest that he is behind the problems that arose is not only unfair, but is downright mischief.”
But insiders maintained there was strong suspicion Tsvangirai could have played a part in the altercation.
Political analysts told NewsDay this week disturbances that rocked Harvest House were a result of ongoing factional feuding and not cable disclosures that some senior MDC-T members allegedly undermined party leader Tsvangirai during discussions with US diplomats.
They said the fracas that rocked the MDC-T national executive meeting was a result of long-standing unresolved feuds which were aggravated at the party’s congress held in Bulawayo early this year.