SENIOR MDC-T founding members, also known as the Elders’ Council, yesterday held a crisis meeting to defuse tension between party vice-presidents Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri, who are fighting over control of the party before news of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s death filtered through late last night.
The Elders’ Council, led by former Senator Cephas Makuyana, was reportedly trying to bring both Chamisa and Mudzuri together and restore sanity in the party’s top leadership.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Both Chamisa and Mudzuri were claiming to have been ordained by Tsvangirai to act in his stead.
“The elders have been working hard in scenes reminiscent of Father Fidelis Mukonori’s mediation efforts between (former President Robert) Mugabe and the military last November. Both Chamisa and Mudzuri are standing their ground though,” an MDC-T insider told NewsDay.
Fears abound that the MDC-T might split for the umpteenth time with the warring factions sticking to their guns and demanding that the other subordinates itself to their authority.
Sources claimed that the elders initially successfully prevailed over Mudzuri to abort his plan to hold a Press conference to publicly accuse Chamisa of imposing himself as acting party president.
But Mudzuri reportedly reneged and went behind their backs, releasing a scathing statement accusing Chamisa of defying the party’s constitution and appointing himself acting leader “on social media”.
Makuyana initially confirmed mediation efforts were currently underway, promising to respond comprehensively “after the standing committee meeting”.
“Yes, the elders are mediating, but wait until after the standing committee meeting, then we can respond comprehensively. Just be patient,” Makuyana said yesterday.
Contacted later, Makuyana referred questions to party spokesperson Obert Gutu.
“Talk to Gutu, he is the party spokesperson. He will tell you everything. The elders will issue a statement tomorrow (today),” Makuyana said. Gutu was, however, reluctant to discuss the matter probably because of its sensitivity.