Monday, 18 July 2016


MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai says he has played his role in the struggle to free Zimbabwe from the Zanu PF “dictatorship” and would not be hurt if he loses the forthcoming presidential race in 2018.

Tsvangirai, who is battling cancer of the colon and has over the past two months been undergoing chemotherapy treatment in South Africa, was responding to United Family International Church leader, Emmanuel Makandiwa’s recent prophecy that President Robert Mugabe’s successor was a Zimbabwean currently based in the Diaspora.

“I don’t know who goes to n’angas (traditional healers) and prophets, but I don’t rely on that. I have a responsibility. God has created me for a purpose and if that purpose is not to be president of the country, that’s fine,” he told a Press briefing in the capital on Friday.

“I have fulfilled what I think I was created to do and I am doing it to the best of my ability. Whether there are prophecies, I think it’s immaterial, as far as I am concerned.

“Who knows, you can wake up one morning dead (sic), and you say, I prophesied that you won’t be president, when you are dead (sic).”

In a recent prophecy, Makandiwa said the country’s next president would emerge from outside the borders, ruling out Tsvangirai and opposition Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru, who are touted as front runners.

The prophecy also threw spanners in the works for Zanu PF contenders, First Lady Grace Mugabe and Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who are also reportedly angling to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai has been at the helm of MDC-T since its formation in 1999 and has watched his party split twice, as he lost to Mugabe in three successive presidential elections — 2002, 2008 and 2013.

MDC-T insiders told NewsDay that Tsvangirai’s announcement and body language has triggered panic, fears of an imminent split and fierce jostling to succeed him.

“Most of his standing committee members did not attend the Press briefing at his home. They are unhappy, especially at his choice of Nelson Chamisa and there is going to be a private meeting around Tuesday to discuss a reaction to Tsvangirai’s appointments,” a source said.

However, Tsvangirai, through his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, dismissed speculation that the appointments would destroy his party, insisting he followed a directive of the party’s national council.

“In the MDC, party organs are bigger than individuals. Individual whims and caprices are subordinate to the will of the collective,” he said.

“On Thursday, the national council of the party, the supreme decision-making organ in-between congresses, sat. It is that body that gave the president the powers, and even at congress, delegates had said the president can have more than one deputy. We are a democratic party and we do not split simply because we see things differently.”

The camp opposing the move is reportedly led by secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, who is in currently in Hungary together with party spokesperson, Obert Gutu. Khupe, too, did not attend the Thursday meeting.

Another source said the rivals to last week’s move are plotting to fire Tsvangirai from the party on allegations that he was being a dictator.

“He has effectively fired himself from the party because his appointments were illegal. Those appointments mean he has formed his own party and left the MDC-T,” the source continued, adding there was no possibility the matter would be solved quietly.

“If someone slaps you in the face, you have to slap back even harder and this is what we are going to do when we meet on Tuesday, hit back even harder.”

Khupe insisted she was not consulted on the appointments and yesterday declined to comment.

“Can you refer all the questions to President Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, because I am not speaking on the issue,” she said.

Party insiders said the appointment of Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as co-vice-presidents of the MDC-T was meant to spite Khupe, hence, the decision to leave her out of the Thursday meeting.

But Tsvangirai said he does not consult individuals when making “important party positions”.

“The party and its president do not consult individuals. They consult structures, party organs and the constitution and this was duly done. In any case, the principle of more than one VP had been agreed at congress. Even the three out of 12 provinces that were of a different view in council did not disagree with the principle, but some had issues with the timing,” he said. newsday


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