Tsvangirai blows out fire

Morgan Tsvangirai

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has climbed down on attempts fronted by his loyalists to hand him full control of the party through a raft of constitutional changes which could have undermined democracy in the opposition party.

EVERSON MUSHAVA

Under the proposed constitutional changes ahead of next month’s elective congress, Tsvangirai was set to have the sole prerogative of appointing MDC-T national executive members.

Proposals by some members to force constitutional changes in the party and give Tsvangirai powers to appoint national executive members and water down the powers of the secretary-general had created tension in the labour-backed movement.

Some members had been expressing fears that the proposed constitutional changes would turn the MDC-T into another Zanu PF where President Robert Mugabe almost single-handedly decides the fate of the ruling party.

But after a 12-hour meeting of the national executive on Thursday and a six-hour national council meeting yesterday, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said Tsvangirai would no longer handpick members of the executive as had been proposed.

“Among the key resolutions made after protracted debate in line with our democratic tradition, it was agreed that the 14 standing committee members, including the president, will be directly elected at congress,” Mwonzora said.

But Tsvangirai edged closer to asserting his powers by ensuring that no meetings would be held without his approval.

There had been reports that some members of the party who were close to Tsvangirai and hoped to benefit from his benevolence were pushing for constitutional changes that would see the former Premier assume full control of the party by appointing the national executive members the same way Mugabe appoints politburo members.

The move had been fiercely resisted by some members who felt such practices were tantamount to “Zanufication” of the party. Sources told NewsDay the issue of constitutional changes took centre stage in the 12-hour meeting as Tsvangirai loyalists attempted to smuggle the constitutional changes.

But Mwonzora said: “It is not in the DNA of Morgan Tsvangirai to be a dictator. He does not aspire to be a Mugabe who handpicks his politburo.”

Following reports on proposals to strip the powers of the secretary-general to make Tsvangirai all-powerful, Mwonzora said following the constitutional changes, the office of the secretary-general remained powerful but could no longer call for meetings without the approval of the president, the national executive or national council.

“It was discovered that the abuse of office by the secretary-general was not per se by powers enshrined in the constitution, but by attitudes and vagueness of the functions of the office,” Mwonzora said.

“We had sought to redefine the reporting structure.

“The secretary-general now directly reports to the president, national executive and national council.

“Meetings will now be convened under the authority of the executive.

“The president authorises the convening of meetings.
“The current constitution generated debate on whether the secretary-general could convene a meeting without the authority of the president or national executive.

“The powers of the secretary-general remain the same, but have been specified.”

Mwonzora said the issue of two vice-presidents was also shot down in the meeting because it was seen to be a waste of national resource.

“This was introduced by Zanu PF to atone for the Gukurahundi [massacres] and when we formed the MDC, we did not have that because it was seen to be a waste of resources,” Mwonzora said.

The MDC-T will today start its provincial congresses that would also nominate members to contest for national executive posts at the congress to be held from October 29 to 31.

All elections from provincial structures to national would be by secret ballot, Mwonzora said.

17 Comments

  1. Has Chematama accepted defeat on his proposals or will he use his ‘veto powers’ like he did on the senatorial elections? Khupe, Chamisa, Mwanzora et al won the first round of the fight to wrest control of the party at the Oct congress and effect regime change from within, something Biti, et al failed to do. I see a nikuv hand in this as a way to embarass Chematama. Yeah, the meeting was rigged,kkkkkk

  2. I dont believe what I am reading.Has Chematama accepted defeat on his proposals or will he use his ‘veto powers’ like he did on the senatorial elections? Khupe, Chamisa, Mwanzora et al won the first round of the fight to wrest control of the party at the Oct congress and effect regime change from within, something Biti, et al failed to do. I see a nikuv hand in this as a way to embarass Chematama. Yeah, the meeting was rigged,kkkkkk

  3. Meet at the middle.
    Too much democracy is wrong just like too much autocracy.
    For now its ok to amass some powers on MT the leader.

  4. Meet at the middle.
    Too much democracy is wrong just like too much autocracy.
    For now its ok to amass some powers on MT the leader..

  5. Morgan is different from what our state run media purport. The man has wisdom which you can’t get from Zimbabweans.

    1. No, no, this just proves that the man is not assertive. He gives in to hero-worshipping and this has cost him dearly since the 2005 MDC split. All his decisions, including on his personal life have been influenced by other people!

      I do not see him changing. He is also tired!

    2. No, No, No! The man is just weak – he is easily manipulated by others!

    3. Morgan is being decerved by the likes of lovemore Moyo and Abednico Bhebhe who doesnt want to c shonas in the structures in Matabeleland

    4. Abednico Bhebhe Is in Bulawayo forming parralel dtructures in favour of Gift Banda

    5. Chamisa can u intervine at this hour at Bulawayo MDC-T head office Abednico Bhebhe is forming Womens wing parralell structures.Elections whre done peacesfull last week for Njube and other areas.

    6. Tsvangirai having wisdom, ah uku kupenga chaiko

  6. Tinozvitenda izvozvo vaTsvangirai mateerera zvido zveruzhinji not just a few power hungry individuals. Its now time to come up with a winning team at congress. Victory is certain!

  7. Chematama is good , l dont kow why he is not given a chance . l will vote for him not renewal who are power hungry , cant even wait for congress hanzi tsvangson ngaabve, aah

  8. Please elect man and women of good standing at the congresses. We need a winning team for the next election. We are behind a democratic party.

  9. time will tell

  10. This is democracy. Save is the man.

  11. Go tsvangi son vanosara ngavasare usiyane na vana biti

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