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“Tsvangirai stole national convergence concept”

Opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused of “stealing” the National Convergence Platform, a concept that he last week proposed for national economic revival. 

Bishop Sebastian Bakare, one of NCP’s conveners said he was shocked when Tsvangirai claimed that his MDC-T party would convene the national dialogue, a concept that he said was originated by his group and to which the labour-backed party was invited to participate.

Bakare claimed Tsvangirai stole the idea from their concept paper written last November. A copy of the paper was seen by The Standard yesterday.

On Thursday, Tsvangirai told journalists that his party would organize a national dialogue to look at the problems the country was facingIn a letter written to some of the conveners who include Sapes Trust boss Ibbo Mandaza and political analyst Charles Mangongera, among others, Bakare said he was very shocked by Tsvangirai’s statement.

“On reading this statement, I spoke to the MDC-T President on the phone expressing my consternation at his statement,” Bakare said in his letter to his fellow conveners yesterday.

“His (Tsvangirai)’s response was that he did not intend to jump the gun and that he expects us to go ahead with our plans. I have been bombarded by people calling me and wanting to know what is happening and whether we had sold our souls to MDC-T.”Bakare added: “In order to make it clear to the public that there is a multi-sectorial initiative by concerned citizens which has reached an advanced stage but is not mandated by any political party, we will issue a statement in the newspapers to this effect.

I am writing to you as participants of the above group to assure you that we shall not be hoodwinked by anyone.

”He said the national dialogue was a project to be done by independent and non-partisan individuals, not under a political party.

The NCP was formed soon after the July 31 elections and participation, planned for March this year, was targeting key stakeholders from churches, student groups, labour, non-governmental organizations, political parties, among others, as citizens rather than groups.

The grouping had already reached to political parties and other key stakeholders with Mandaza last August addressing the MDC-T national executive while on a retreat in Kadoma.

The group claimed it had also reached to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and other stakeholders.Tapiwa Mashakada,  a member of the MDC-T executive yesterday said Tsvangirai was quoted out of context saying the convergence would never be held by a political party, but independent Zimbabweans.Mashakada was MDC-T secretary general when Mandaza engaged the party over the issue. 

“The NCP can never be held by a political party because the national crisis facing the nation is larger than political parties. It is biting all citizens regardless of their political affiliation,” Mashakada said.

He said Tsvangirai was only referring to it but it remained an initiative to be implemented by non-partisan players, and the MDC-T, Zanu PF and other political parties would be key players.

“Those neutral and non-partisan conveners of the idea would feel betrayed by some of us. I believe that the MDC-T leader’s statement is clear that it calls for the convening of dialogue by neutral Zimbabweans.

No political party should monopolise the project. As the MDC-T, we are still committed with the dialogue as previously conceived that it would be non-partisan.”Mandaza yesterday said the concept could have been leaked to Tsvangirai by other forces with the hope of destroying the initiative.

The project, Mandaza said, would be funded by the participants.Meanwhile, other opposition political parties and civil society organizations yesterday expressed reservations about what they had believed was a “Tsvangirai’s project”, preferring it to be held by neutral individuals.

MDC-T strong ally since its formation, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) said they were “very skeptical” about events organised by political parties.”Political party programmes are party business where we do not want ourselves to be involved. We are sceptical about these party initiatives.

Normally we are comfortable with involving ourselves with government policies” ZCTU secretary general Japhet Moyo said.

MDC-T Renewal Team spokesperson Jacob Mafume, who also spoke in the belief the concept was a Tsvangirai idea, said his party was surprised that Tsvangirai has seen the light of what they had been advocating for since the inception of his party at Mandel Training Centre in April last year.

“We mentioned the idea of a national convention in our Mandel resolution and we are however not in the habit of responding to weddings where the groom has not found a bride,” Mafume said.

Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Pedzisayi Ruhanya said Tsvangirai must first find common ground with other opposition parties before he talks of a national indaba. 

13 Responses to “Tsvangirai stole national convergence concept”

  1. Dr Mabhunu January 11, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    Cry my beloved zimbabwe where ideas are monopolised n individuals claim to b our liberators,as long as our people fail to organise then Zim wil nt reach e promised land

  2. Jonathiel Moyo January 11, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    The convection should be led by organisations that are purely non-partisan. However this does not simply imply that only churches are the best candidates for the task. Of late we witness a number of churches, particularly their leadership boot-licking those in political power. Some have gone to the extend of also involved in the chaotic land invasions.

    We have witnessed bizarre and demotic behaviour in the Anglican Church. We have seen Kunonga spearheading this madness as he became an active facilitator of demonic spirit aimed at the destruction Holy House of God. Obedia Musindo, a ZanuPF activity violently grabbed a farm for himself. Bishop Wutaunashe believes that Zimbabwe is a property of Gushungo.

    What is happening in Mazowe area is not good and I expected the men and women of cloth to rebuke whoever is tormenting people in that location. I later realized that church leaders of this generation are easily hired for loaf bread. They showered the tormentor with all sorts of praises. So if church leaders fail to protect their flocks who will? E! batho.

    The concept of a convection is a noble one.I also support the idea put forward that it should led by non-partisan organizations. Political parties should be invited not the other way round.

  3. Sally January 11, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    just a talk shop

  4. chigutsa January 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    Leadership of most churches are sheep in wolf s clothing beware.mamwe machechi akadyarwa maCIO vanonyepera hufundisi.the convention though noble yaigona kungo hijakwa neCIO,any gathering in Zim inenge ichitova ne mac shereni.

  5. Righteous Justcie January 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    For goodness sake Zimbabwe grow up. Zimbabwe is NEVER going to go forward unless we begin to work with a unified national cause. I do not care who calls for what just get together for the good of the nation. On a scale of 10 to 1 I rate our politicians maturity as zero! At least Morgan is calling for something positive and he also won the last two elections. By all rights the man, like him or not, should be in State House and he would be a hang of a lot better than the current disaster

  6. Peter johns January 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    We seem to fighting for glory before even the conference is convened. Whoever makes suggestions why can’t we just unite and map the way forward. Disgusting.

  7. vision January 11, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    its better for the dialogue to be called by Tsvangirai than by an NCP that noone has ever heard of before

    • Gutter Poet January 11, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

      The fact that YOU have not heard of the NCP does not mean everyone has not heard of them.

  8. Tasangana January 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    Bishop S Bakare is running an organisation called UMRRF which is a front for Renewal. All there funding is sourced through MDC Renewal. He must not try to be apolitical. The idea is very good and we must not fight a good idea. We are very tired of people who are just there to criticise for the sake of it.

  9. Nathaniero Manheru January 11, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    Problem with so called church leaders pretending to b our liberators yet they are part and parcel of our oppressors. Why is bakare against ths

  10. Righteous Justice January 12, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    Why can we Zimbabweans not work together? What is wrong with us? I don’t care if it is Bakare, Morgan, SImba, Welshman, Itai, Vince, WOZA, YOZA, Dabengwa or any of the others. You all need to lay down your selfish ambitions and come together for a common cause. Zimbabwe is suffering beyond suffering! not everyone can be President! get on your knees and ask the Lord to choose the man He wants to lead. There would be space for all of you in the new Zimbabwe. You have all played your part: you will all go down in the history books as the new liberators. What the heck are you fighting each other for?

  11. Bhonimbi January 12, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    Awuu, this is madness to say the least. Unbelievable indeed, how can grown up people fight over an idea; which will NEVER woimbo knows the problems with Zimbabwe’s economy .. and that problem is certainly NOT the fact that noone knows what must be done! Imi kwanai nhaika, Bakare wacho or whoever you call yourself ..tseeeek apa.

  12. DEMBETEMBE January 19, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    Righteous Justice talks a lot of sense.It is the idea that matters NOT the one behind what idea.We all desperately need solutions to the country’s economic problems.Our gvt does not seem to care a hoot.Mugabe does not care at all.Opposition pple must put their differences aside & work together to find a lasting solution to our problems.
    After all,not a single person is apolitical including bishop Bakare.It’s not a crime to belong to a political party of one’s choice as long as one does not stand in the way of progressive minds.
    At one stage,a once big political leader blindly described as irrelevant,the call for economic dialogue.We really need this dialogue yesterday.”UNITED WE STAND,DIVIDED WE FALL!” Economic dialogue is neither too late nor impossible.

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