Tsvangirai disowns Mwonzora’s statement

MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora

FRESH divisions between MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and his lieutenants have emerged over the formation of an opposition coalition with other parties.

Mr Tsvangirai yesterday sprung to dismiss statements by the party’s secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora that the MDC-T had started selecting Parliamentary candidates and effectively shutting out coalition partners.

Mr Mwonzora was yesterday quoted in the private media saying Mr Tsvangirai had announced plans to field candidates in all contested constituencies and wards throughout the country, leaving out his coalition partners.

Mr Mwonzora reportedly belongs to a faction led by MDC-T deputy president Ms Thokozani Khupe and the clique has openly campaigned against an opposition coalition ahead of the 2018 elections.

However, in a statement yesterday Mr Tsvangirai had no kind words.

“The statement published in the NewsDay of today (yesterday) purportedly under my authority but issued by the secretary-general is unfortunate, misleading and grossly false. I would like to state categorically that the MDC-T entered in to an electoral alliance agreement with its partners on August 5, 2017. That agreement includes seat allocations and it’s binding on all parties.

The MDC-T election directorate will issue guidelines on candidate selection for seats allocated to it, and such guidelines are yet to be issued out,” he said.

He went on: “The agreement is informed by our National Council resolutions of December 2016 and August 2017 and cannot therefore be rescinded by a personal opinion of a leader. The National Council, the supreme decision making body in between Congresses has been appraised at every turn on the negotiations with our Alliance Partners. In addition our secretary-general or any leader other than president has no authority to speak on matters pertaining to the alliance unless authorised to do so by myself and such authority was not given to him.”

Professor Welshman Ncube, the spokesperson for the Alliance also rubbished the utterances in a statement.

“The outrageous falsehoods attributed to myself in the NewsDay of 23 December 2017 under a story titled Tsvangirai Outfoxes Alliances Partners written by one Obey Manaiti cannot go unchallenged. Manaiti wrote that, ‘The development has left Tsvangirai’s coalition partners seething with anger, with MDC leader and Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube accusing the former Prime Minister of being an untrustworthy partner bent on perpetuating Zanu-PF’s rule. This statement is a 100 percent work of fiction,” said Prof Ncube.

“Nowhere in my interview with Manaiti did I mention the MDC-T as a party or President Tsvangirai, let alone accuse him of being an untrustworthy partner bent on perpetuating Zanu-PF rule. The deliberate falsehoods with regards to my response were designed to create the impression of non-existent fissures within the MDC Alliance leadership. This is totally irresponsible,” said Prof Ncube.

Read Tsvangirai’s statement below:

The statement published in the Newsday of today purportedly under my authority but issued by our Secretary General is unfortunate misleading and grossly false. I would like to state categorically that the MDC-T entered into an electoral alliance agreement in good faith with its partners on August 5 2017. That agreement includes seat allocation and is binding on all parties .

The MDC-T Election Directorate will issue guidelines on candidate selection for seats allocated to it and such guidelines are yet to be issued out. The agreement is informed by our National Council resolutions of December 2016 and August 2017 and cannot therefore be rescinded by a personal opinion of a leader. The National Council the supreme decision making body in between Congresses has been appraised at every turn on the negotiations with our Alliance Partners. In addition our Secretary General or any other leader other than the President has no authority to speak on matters pertaining to the Alliance unless authorised to so by myself and such authority was not given to him.

I would like to assure our partners and the generality of the people of Zimbabwe who demanded this unity during my national tour in January 2017 that the alliance which is the only hope to secure change in this country is intact and not under threat from any quarter Morgan Richard Tsvangirai MDC Alliance President