MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is still to issue specific mandates to
the two new party vice-presidents, Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri,
amid allegations he appointed them last week to dilute Thokozani Khupe’s
In making the appointments, Tsvangirai did not assign specific roles to the two new VPs, creating a potential for the triumvirate of his deputies to step on each other’s toes. Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, yesterday said that the mandates of the VPs would be announced soon.
“They are yet to be given mandates, but that will be done anytime soon after president Tsvangirai comes back from the hospital, where he is undergoing chemotherapy,” he said.
Tsvangirai last month revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the colon and doctors in South Africa have been attending to him.
Yet, other party members feared the move could have tribal implications and cost the MDC-T votes in Midlands, Matabeleland and Mashonaland provinces, as both Chamisa and Mudzuri hailed from Masvingo, while the former regions could be aggrieved by what they might see as a slight on Khupe.
But Tsvangirai yesterday defended his appointments, saying they were based on the two’s capabilities in executing party functions.
“It does not matter where the cats come from, as long as they catch mice,” Tamborinyoka, quoting former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, said in a statement yesterday.
“Some have raised valid issues concerning gender and tribe, but as president Tsvangirai pointed out last week, it was the nature of the job that needed to be done that determined the candidates that were appointed and not any other factor.”
He said Tsvangirai’s actions were within the parameters of the party’s constitution, which gave the national council powers to run the party between congresses.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman also took a pot shot at party members questioning the decision, saying party organs were bigger than individuals.
“The appointments of Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa were okayed by a superior organ of the party. Any two or individuals plotting under a tree can never be above the national council of the party, whatever their political station in the party hierarchy,” he said.
Tamborinyoka confirmed the decision to expand the party’s presidium was opposed by three of the party’s 12 provinces at last Thursday’s meeting. newsday