A POLITICAL time bomb is ticking in the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T, with his deputy, Thokozani Khupe, writing a stinging letter last week accusing the former Prime Minister of being “unapproachable and unilaterally” signing the MDC Alliance deal, which gave him excessive powers, NewsDay has learnt.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
In a letter in our possession dated August 21 and co-signed by Khupe, party chairman Lovemore Moyo and suspended organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe, they claimed that they decided to write instead of visiting Tsvangirai to register their concerns for fear of further attacks.
The move by the trio emerged hardly a day after Tsvangirai suspended Bhebhe following a three-hour extraordinary national executive meeting in which Bulawayo East MP Thabitha Khumalo was reinstated to her position, while deputy treasurer-general Charlton Hwende remained suspended.
The three were recently severely bashed at the party’s Bulawayo provincial offices by party youths allegedly sent by Tsvangirai after they spurned the MDC Alliance signing ceremony in Harare.
They added that they boycotted the MDC-T national executive council meeting held in Harare on Friday over the same security concerns.
The latest move, which comes less than a week before Tsvangirai’s scheduled trip to Bulawayo to officially launch the MDC Alliance, is likely to further derail the envisaged coalition pact.
Part of the letter read: “We write this memorandum to reiterate our concerns about the MDC Alliance co-operation agreement you signed with other alliance partners on August 5, 2017 . . .
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“We are, however, concerned about the seemingly centralisation of power in one person, and method that was employed, which gave birth to the alliance agreement, which is fraught with inconsistencies, as we were never consulted regarding the substantive contents of the alliance agreement.”
Tsvangirai’s lieutenants said while they supported the coalition pact, they were, however, concerned over the uneven distribution of constituencies in the Matabeleland region and Bulawayo, among parties to the MDC Alliance.
“In terms of Clause 3(c) of the Composite Political Co-operation Agreement, the party which is strongest electorally in a given constituency must field the candidate for the coalition. It is for this reason that we are against the allocation of the seats that have been allocated to other coalition partners from Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North. We are certain that the party is strongest electorally in these provinces . . . ,” the top MDC-T officials said.
“More specifically, we are concerned about the formula or method that has been used to come up with the distribution. Precisely, because mathematically, the party has given away 45,7% of the parliamentary seats and remained with 54%.
“Our concern is that even if the party is to win all the contested seats, it may not achieve outright majority presidential victory.”
Efforts to contact Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, Khupe and Moyo were fruitless as their mobile phones were switched off yesterday.
Bhebhe refused to comment, saying: “Why do you have to call me when you have the letter?”
The three also raised concern about the party only having to nominate the Speaker of Parliament with other legislative leadership positions being given to coalition partners.
Khupe, Moyo and Bhebhe were also not happy with a clause giving the post of deputy mayor for Harare and Bulawayo to the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party.
Part of the contentious clause read: “The alliance party with the second highest elected councillors shall nominate the deputy.”
The MDC-T bigwigs also raised concern over the distribution of posts for chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of provincial councils and also the setting-up of a Coalition Principals’ Forum and Coalition Liaison Committee, arguing “in our view these committees usurp the functions of the organs of the party”.