War erupts over Tsvangirai succession

MDC-T succession wars escalated yesterday as the party insisted that Morgan Tsvangirai was still its leader and its presidential candidate, a day after the former trade unionist intimated that he would be stepping down.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The ructions in the main opposition party intensified yesterday with MDC-T’s youth and women wings warning officials to desist from canvassing for the former Premier’s position and pushing for his resignation.

They warned they will not support any other presidential candidate besides Tsvangirai.

“The president will do well. He just needs time to recuperate,” MDC youth secretary-general Lovemore Chinoputsa said yesterday.

“Now that the president has given us a trajectory of how he is going to lead us, where and what are we supposed to do?

“We now have to follow his wisdom to make sure the party programmes run without any challenges,” he said in relation to the roles assigned to the three party vice-presidents.

Chinoputsa said they would stick to their presidential candidate, adding the youths would not be drawn into debating a post-Tsvangirai era.

“There is nothing that has changed that requires us to consider replacing president Tsvangirai,” he said.

“If anything, the needs and aspirations of young people are better served under Tsvangirai.

“Our senior leaders should desist from jostling for power that is not there.


“We are watching them, as young people, and we will not hesitate to strike, if need be.

“Let them move away from fighting each other and this warning goes to all the factions.”

MDC-T women’s assembly chairperson Lynette Karenyi supported Tsvangirai’s continued stay in office.

“While, as an assembly of women, we recognise that Tsvangirai is not in good health, we believe that he will get over his ailment,” she said.

“We continue to pray that he be in good health in time for the 2018 harmonised elections to lead Zimbabwe into a new era.

“On behalf of the assembly of women, we would like to vehemently and openly express our support for and solidarity with president Tsvangirai during his time of physical pain. We have the same confidence that we had in him during congress, and remain the same now as we will tomorrow. We are raring to go under his brilliant leadership.”

Karenyi said Tsvangirai’s illness was nothing new for an aspiring president, as other sitting leaders in other countries had defied odds to romp to victory despite poor health.

The position taken by the MDC-T youth and women’s assemblies dovetailed with the new position announced by party spokesperson Obert Gutu yesterday following a meeting chaired by acting president Elias Mudzuri.

In the statement, Gutu said Tsvangirai was not stepping down and would remain the party’s presidential candidate in this year’s elections.

“Contrary to recent Press reports that suggested that president Tsvangirai will soon be stepping down from the leadership of the party, the fact of the matter is that president Tsvangirai remains the leader of the MDC and he is the MDC presidential candidate for the 2018 elections,” he said.

MDC-T is reportedly divided between supporters of the three vice-presidents — Nelson Chamisa, Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe — to succeed Tsvangirai.

After disclosing his illness two years ago, Tsvangirai appointed Chamisa and Mudzuri as his two additional deputies, in addition to Khupe, who retained her post at the last congress.

Tsvangirai had been expected to travel to South Africa earlier this week, but he reportedly delayed his trip to late yesterday amid behind-the-scenes bickering over his succession.

On Monday, the MDC-T leader, who is receiving treatment for cancer of the colon, hinted on taking early retirement, a decision which was reportedly supposed to be announced upon his return from his medical trip to South Africa.

But warring factions have traded open insults, accusing each other of trying to manipulate the situation to arm-twist Tsvangirai into stepping down.

Political analyst Philani Moyo, a director at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa, said the MDC-T succession politics was fluid, but speculated that Chamisa was the frontrunner.

“In a utopian party political system, Thokozani Khupe should have been miles ahead in the race to succeed Tsvangirai simply because she was popularly elected at congress, has been party VP for many years and is a senior leader, capable in her own right,” he said.

“However, in the real world of Zimbabwean internal party contestation and its attendant ethno-realities, it appears her chances of succeeding Tsvangirai are slim.

“While Elias Mudzuri remains in the picture, her main competitor will obviously be Advocate Nelson Chamisa.”

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22 Comments

  1. Chinjai Maitiro

    Succession can be an ugly monster if it is not handled well. Following what Robert Mugabe went through, one would have thought that Tsvangirai had learnt something. At a time when the main opposition party is supposed to be a united front in light of the forth coming elections, there is unprecedented bickering. When you hear and see the Women’s league and the Youth flogging a dying horse, you know everything is not in order. We all saw it with ZANU PF and the ANC. The MDC T must wake up and smell the coffee and convene an urgent meeting to deal once and for all with the succession issue. Otherwise, the party risks standing side by side with the Zimbabwe ruins!

  2. Chinjai Maitiro

    Succession can be an ugly monster if it is not handled well. Following what Robert Mugabe went through, one would have thought that Tsvangirai had learnt something. At a time when the main opposition party is supposed to be a united front in light of the forthcoming elections, there is unprecedented bickering. When you hear and see the Women’s league and the Youth flogging a dying horse, you know everything is not in order. We all saw it with ZANU PF and the ANC. The MDC T must wake up and smell the coffee and convene an urgent meeting to deal once and for all with the succession issue. Otherwise, the party risks standing side by side with the Zimbabwe ruins!

  3. I do not think there is any war in MDC-T but it was the national tabloids which were creating a non-existant hand over of power and surprisingly all the publications including the online news were awash with half truths probably emanating from some of the childish Vps which is very unfortunate, successors must have patience ,Morgan will relinquish power at the right time after roasting ED and having served at least one term, that would make sense not any time soon

  4. Hoping against hope, as we might: The man is ill and is best served by a peaceful rest away from the chaos and stress of political campaigns. It looks like we have a new Grace and a new Kudzi Chipanga here.

    1. ZANU PF and MDC SAME SAME KUSIMBIRIRA MUNHU ARIKURWARA KUTI ATUNGAMIRIRE IYE ACHITI HAACHAKWANISE POOR YOUTHS AND WOMEN’S LEAGUE

  5. Handing over of power to the young blood… to none other than Advocate Nelson Chamisa is the only way forward here. However, the MDC T youth and women league are right to defend MT s position as president and rightful candidate for 2018 harmonized elections…only because everything has to be communicated using the right channels not mere speculation to cause divisions in the party. It is also clear that some elements in this country wish there was confusion in MDC T…now they push their agenda through publicizing unofficial statements.

    1. Advocate Chamisa dai vambomira vati kurei zvishoma. Apa panotoda VaMudzuri, vakadzikamira.

      1. asi unoonawoka vachikodzera zvavo. ipapo tiri tose.iyeyu ngatimupei mukana kana zera raakumubvumira. nditsvangirai in making mujaya iyeye. as long as you believe in Tsvangirai, its safe you to consider Chamisa post Tsvangirai.

  6. ZANU PF and MDC SAME SAME KUSIMBIRIRA MUNHU ARIKURWARA KUTI ATUNGAMIRIRE IYE ACHITI HAACHAKWANISE POOR YOUTHS AND WOMEN’S LEAGUE

  7. Kuwiriranakwakanakakugarakunzwanana Garanewakohamandishe

    Shiri yakangwara inovaka dendere rayo nguva iripo iwe, newewo ngwarawo. Mujuru unovaka imba yawo mvura isati yaturuka iwe, newewo ngwara iwe. Kondo inovaka dendere rayo pamanhenga, kuti pasawana anotora vayo. Inokandira mazai akafanana nevhu, iyo hurekure kuti vanhu vasaone. Wakasiya adetemba mwana wekwa Musorowenyoka Dembo ainzi Leonard. Nekudaro, kana matadza kuita hurongwa nenguva mangwana musazo TINYAUDZA moti, madigwa. Mokanganwa kuti, kusarongeka kwenyu MDC-T. Vamwe varimubhishi kugadzirira, imi mubhishi kumarana. Vamwe vakatoronga kuti hapana munhu achakwikwidza saCouncellor kana MP, ane makore anodarika makumi mana ane mashanu. Ko imi makarongeiwo MDC-T? Sarudzo dzasvika ingori herere herere chete. Hezvo zvabuda musarudzo. Aaaaaa! Tabigwa. Garayi muchiziva kuti Mutungamiri wenyika ndiye anotaura zuva kana mazuva esarudzo. Kana mazuva azotaugwa, wowe, vamhanya! Ichi nechichi hazvina kukadzigwa. Aiwa, izvi nezvozvo ngazvitange zvagadzigwa. Apa ndimi zvenyu munenge musina kugadzirira iweee. Uye madzimayi, zivayi kuti, CHINOZIVA IVHU, KUTI MWANA WEMBEVA ANOGWARA. Save vanonzwa ivo vomene kuti chigwere chagodza. Musamanikidzire munhu kurambo shanda nyama yake yoramba. Iyambirowo. Mangwana musazotinyaudza, mozhamba sarudzo dzabuda veduwe.

  8. This is not the right time to relinguish power mr president,it would be prudent for morgan to contest this coming election and then save for his term and then map the wayforward for power transition. these succession issues must be handled with great care as they could lead to the split of the party. this is the time to unite and fight for a common purpose to dislodge the regime then we will talk of succession issue later.

    1. you are not sirncere with your leader my man. Morgan is technically incapacitated to proceed as a torch bearer for the opposition. he will be roasted by the well oiled and revived zanu pf come elections season. This will only further worsen his health conditions. Let the man enjoy his ministerial pension and house away from the daunting political office requirements. a new leader will still have a template to refer in the form of a live former opp leader.

  9. Those still adamant to change should wait for the tidal wave of change. Mugabe and team G40 defied the same until they were abruptly swept irretrievably. It is now time we learn to embrace change wholeheartedly. Biblically, Moses played the greatest role in removing the Israelites from Egypt but never made it to the promised land in person. Understandably, lets detoxicate our long fixed mindsets before tsunami the change comes to change us. Its all about the vision not personalities.

  10. I tell you, the media especially newsday has seen that this division and succession issue sells well, they want it to create a big one out of mdc especially that morgan is ill. day in and day out they want to hear what khuphe etc are saying and even misquote them. anything they think is pointing to that(division) they pick quickly and even exaggerate. yesterday morgan said it is time to give time to the young to lead. their interpretation was he gives chamisa hope. did he say he is giving power to him. he might be wanting to do that but he did not say it. please media don’t try to sell your news that way. mdc at present are saying morgan is the candidate until they decide otherwise. it does not mean they might not change, but they are saying they will do it their way and are principled on that

  11. Sounds like the mdc version of Zanu pf Mugabe Chipanga story here. There are so many runing parallels .Tsvangirai is now incapacitated and needs to resign if mdc is to scoop any meaningful votes.Who do you think votes for a sick man like that with those photos that are awash on internet of him so ill. Its so unfortunate not that his illness is a thing of mockery but reason has it that he has to leave the thrones of power on medical grounds.Zimbabweans we have a problem of not coming out truly.They did it with Mugabe ,endorsing him everywhere the same ppl ,youth and women league only to disown and impeach him on the morrow.There is nothing sincere about this endorsement.You shall hear them in the next coming weeks when Tsvangirai shall formally leave power saying all sorts of negatives. Zimbabweans are not ppl to trust their comments especially if you are their leader.bootlicking is a Zimbabwean disease.They sing praise and worship for you in public but groan and murmur in their bedrooms.Tsvangirai you have fought your good fight man i salute u for that but mdc still leaves after you. Politics in Zimbambwe should shift from indiividual man to values and policies that are enshrined by the party so that even a donkey can carry the party forward and still be successful for the benefit of the nation

  12. Ndo problem yenyu vanhu veMDC-T, burying your heads in the sand. Save varwara zviri kuonekwa nemunhu wese. Do u honestly think that Tsvangirai can withstand the rigours of election campaigning nezvavari zviya???? Munoreva nhema. With that kind of mentality no wonder why Zanu PF says ichatonga kusvika madhongi amera nyanga. Wake up and smell the coffee mhani.

  13. All those calling for tsvangirai to resign are not sincere in their analisysis but have a sinister motive to destroy MDC.

  14. Comment…it is my prayer tht our leader mst seek the hand in this tm of agony for hm to healed we zimbabweanz still need hm medicine treat bt God heals seek the face of God our leader u wil b healed

  15. Is it a crime to resign, especially when you are sick and need to focus on your health? Why hate Robert if you are capable of doing the same?

  16. Kuwiriranakwakanakakugarakunzwanana Garanewakohamandishe

    Comment…Regayi tione kuchawira tsvimbo nedohwe. Mazuva arikupindana zvawo. Anditi ririkubuda richinyura zvaro.

  17. On a serious note MDC should speed up its campaign as elections are round the corner. Hatidi kuti tizochema mangwana coz ZANU PF is busy campaigning.

  18. lovemyzim, how can the MDC and ZANU(PF) be sama same when Tsvangirai has already said that they are prepared to hand over to younger leadership?

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