THE MDC-T yesterday scoffed at the alleged suspension of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai by a rebel group led by party secretary-general Tendai Biti and said it would soon write to Parliament to recall the nine Members of Parliament involved in the Saturday boardroom “coup d’état”.
REPORT BY MOSES MATENGA
This came as one of the MDC-T’s strongest allies, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), described the rebels as “having taken the road to political oblivion”.
“People can’t sit under a tree or in hotels and come up with positions or maybe they are just playing to the gallery. That’s child’s play and I don’t think we should lose sleep over such matters,” said Japhet Moyo, ZCTU secretary-general, saying the people involved — Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma — were not good supporters of labour issues given their positions in the inclusive government.“They have taken their route to oblivion. It’s like they are now aboard MH370 [the Malaysian plane that mysteriously disappeared months ago],” he said
Analysts also said the MDC-T had taken a wrong turn that marked the demise of a strong opposition to Zanu PF rule.
Addressing a Press conference at Harvest House in Harare yesterday, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said Biti and his team had formed a political party and would face the consequences of their action.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Tsvangirai sympathisers (pictured below) held a peaceful demonstration at the venue in solidarity with their embattled leader.
“It’s an awkward attempt to a coup by spineless people who can’t face congress,” Mwonzora said.
He said the meeting convened by Biti was bogus and, therefore, a non-event.
“Such meetings are held at Harvest House, the party headquarters and this was held at Mandel Training Centre, an indication that it was a clandestine meeting that can never pass as a national council meeting because of the manner it was arranged and its composition,” Mwonzora said.
“In this meeting, out of 13 standing committee members [only two Biti and Solomon Madzore] attended and that means the majority was not invited and did not attend,” Mwonzora added.
Out of 54 members of the national executive, Mwonzora (pictured right) said only eight took part and out of 195 members of the national council only 33 attended, adding that the rest were hired from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC party.
“Our main worry is the behaviour of our secretary-general, he is well versed with the constitution and how he could do that boggles the mind.”
Out of 91 MPs, only nine were present at the Mandel meeting.
“This group doesn’t have the majority of MPs. Some people came from Ncube’s party, about 40 of them. The rest were hired from districts and some youths were not eligible members of the national council. It was bogus and incorrect,” Mwonzora said.
Mwonzora said structures in Harare East had written to the party leadership to expel Biti from the party and Parliament as he was no longer part of the MDC-T.
“He preaches the constitution and the next minute, he breaches the same constitution. We are worried about that character who said Zanu PF stole the election and the next minute he changes. He said the MDC-T had a strong campaign message and the next he says Zanu PF’s Bhora Mugedhi was a better message.”
Mwonzora said the party was investigating Biti for use of party assets at a private company that he owns.
“Biti has formed a political party of which they are failing to find a name but it’s a political party nevertheless. It’s a party whose formation the consequences they have to bear.”
“Biti said he will write to the Speaker of Parliament (seeking to protect the rebel MPs). No, no, no Honourable Biti. You may breach the MDC constitution, but you are not at liberty to breach the Constitution of the country. Where a person ceases to be a member of the party, they can be recalled and all the MPs are in Parliament on MDC-T ticket not on MDC-Jongwe, MDC-Biti or MDC-Madzore ticket. We want to warn Parliament that they must not be used by those who want to breach the Constitution.”
Mwonzora said the party would soon hold a congress and not an extraordinary congress that Biti and his team have been advocating for and would have allowed delegates of the 2011 congress to elect a new leadership in 2016.
On the Western donor influence in the MDC-T circus, Mwonzora said they had no evidence to prove that, but there was an organisation linked to Western countries at the Mandel meeting.
Responding to allegations raised by Mwonzora, the Ncube-led MDC said:
“Neither Professor Ncube nor the MDC caused the violent beatings meted out on Elton Mangoma, Promise Mkwananzi and the harassment of Tendai Biti, Solomon Madzore and others. It is shocking that even for this glaring mistake, the MDC-T still refuses to take responsibility for their actions, choosing instead to blame everybody else but themselves.”
“The constant resorting to scapegoats and imagining Ncube as the proverbial hyena behind every bush is not going to assist Mwonzora’s party find answers to the glaring reasons behind the winds which threaten to tear the big tent apart,” MDC spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said.
A political analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity said: