Knives out for Tsvangirai

THE MDC-T has been rocked by fresh divisions over the imposition of mayors and chairpersons of local council committees allegedly by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.


This comes amid the writing of a petition by MDC-T youths questioning the party’s internal democratic systems and processes, including the imposition of mayoral candidates.

Sources said after losing the July 31 elections to President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai was now trying to assert his authority in the MDC-T by usurping the powers of elected councillors and making unilateral appointments.

A senior official in the party said there was tension in the party after Tsvangirai began to directly appoint mayors, their deputies and chairpersons of committees in various cities and towns won by the MDC-T under the guise of interviewing candidates.

In Harare, the official said Kambuzuma councillor, Thomas Muzuva was last week imposed as deputy mayor of Harare by the MDC-T leader. Tsvangirai also allegedly personally selected the chairpersons of the committees such as human resources, audit, finance, housing, environment and business development, putting loyalists at the positions.

He said similar impositions have been done in Mutare, with the exercise expected to be done in other cities such as Chitungwiza, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Gweru which are controlled by the MDC-T.

The official said eyebrows have also been raised after Tsvangirai indicated that he would tomorrow meet newly elected Harare councillors to announce his preferred candidate for the post of mayor of the city.

“Officials are now being appointed because of their loyalty and for patronage purposes. These imposed officials will prove costly to the party because some of them have no capacity to improve service delivery which is the backbone of rebuilding the party in the next five years,” he said. “Councillors who were directly elected by the people are being side-lined. It appears we have not learned from the mistakes made during the process of primary elections.”

Although the official said he was not yet privy to Tsvangirai’s mayoral candidate for Harare, he said Tsvangirai has indicated that officials who contested the parliamentarian elections and lost should not contest.

This may rule out the likes of former Energy and Power Development minister, Elton Mangoma and party spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora who were said to be vying for the post. Former deputy Justice minister, Obert Gutu, outgoing mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda and chairperson of the Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe, Warship Dumba are also said to be among the several interested in the Harare mayoral post.

Another official said Tsvangirai was getting bad advice from some members of the national standing committee who wanted to destroy both the party and the MDC-T leader.

“I wonder if he is getting advice from technocrats. He has now become authoritarian and this is causing friction and raises the possibility of a fragmentation of the party before the 2018 elections,” he said.

The official said in the event that town clerks in the concerned cities decide to hold the elections of mayors and other officeholders using secret ballot, Tsvangirai’s nominees risked being rejected, with the possibility that Zanu PF could capitalise on this.

Mwonzora yesterday said Tsvangirai as the leader of the MDC-T had a say in the appointment of mayors and other officials and therefore could not be accused of imposing candidates.

9 Responses to Knives out for Tsvangirai

  1. chimwango August 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I think its just unfair to think that Tsvangirai should not say anything concerning the selection of the mayors.He is the leader of the party and if people do not agree on certain aspects that does not mean he is imposing anyone.Let us be objective and stop celebrating the stolen election.

  2. raker August 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Tsvangirai as the party leader should have a direct say in the selection of these mayors because when things go wrong he is the first to get the blame and have his name soiled thus he should put in people whom he can trust in those posts.

  3. chokwadi August 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    impliying that mr t is the know it all and see it all of the party is wrong . considering that councillors are more knowledgeable of who they want to become mayor . this is dictatoral tendencies that have a characteristic of zanupf and zimbabwean politics . who ever is elected mayor by the releavent councils should be given enough time to prove himself failure of which other measures can be taken .being the head does not mean selecting your subordinates , it means keeping a watchful eye on them and making sure the job is being done and the electorate is happy.

  4. Dzvinyangoma August 26, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Leave Zanu PF out of this dictator’s issues. Zanu PF held open primaries to choose parliamentary and council candidates when Chamisa was confirming and imposing candidates for MDC. MDC split in 2005 because of Tsvangirai’s dictatorship.

  5. Jay August 26, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    Tsvangirai is right.As leader he has to do that.Indisciplined people hide behind democracy.No party survives if everybody does what they want.My advice to those unwilling to follow leaders of any party in the world is to resign and become indeed.No party can survive on unbridled anarchy.I believe there will be an opportunity at congress to vote for leader probably in 2016.At that forum u can contest or vote him.Just dont cause confusion in MDC nw.It is time to coalese or be damned

    • Toni August 26, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      Yes Tsvangirayi is right as the party leader. Zanu PF has already hand-picked people for the Speakers of Parliament, Senate and their Chief Whip without any problems. MDC members must be more disciplined. Poor discipline is one of the reasons why the party lost the elections. We need the right people as Mayors.

      • pretty August 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

        The MDC as a supposedly democratic party should not behave like Zanu. Tsvangson cried thoughout the life of the GNU that important appointments were made without him being consulted. He should be careful because he is destroying the democratic principles of the party

  6. chererah August 29, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Like i said,mdc must be wiped off the map.Foward Cde Tsvangirai.Hapana cginofanira kusara chichiratidza kuti kwaimbove ne MDC.

  7. chererah August 29, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Like i said,mdc must be wiped off the map.Foward Cde Tsvangirai.Hapana chinofanira kusara chichiratidza kuti kwaimbove ne MDC.

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