Zim’s main opposition faces looming split

Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC-T party led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been in a serious crisis that analysts fear a looming split.

Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC-T party led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been in a serious crisis that analysts fear a looming split.

"I really wish I was never party to this circus. My heart bleeds as the greatest con game rumbles on. I choose to be different and I owe no one!"  The above words, posted on Facebook by MDC-T Manicaland provincial chief Julius Magarangoma, aptly capture the growing level of frustration within the party. Magarangoma is not the only senior cadre to speak against the infighting in his party, with several others and supporters also venting their anger and frustration through the social network.  Elton Mangoma, the party's suspended deputy treasurer-general, openly called for Tsvangirai to quit party top post in February. After making the claim, Mangoma was assaulted by unidentified supporters of Tsvangirai. He was later suspended of party post over alleged misconduct.

Tsvangirai has been holding on to the helm of MDC-T since 1999.  Tsvangirai said over the weekend that those opposed to his continued leadership were free to leave. He also blamed the party's secretary-general Tendai Biti for heavy loss to Zimbabwe's longtime President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party in last year's elections.    Tsvangirai, 62, was considered the most competent challenger to Mugabe since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. Initially a trade union leader, Tsvangirai formed the Movement for Democratic Change party in 1999 and came close to end Mugabe's rule in 2002 and 2008 presidential elections. But at last year's polls, Tsvangirai garnered only 33 percent of the vote, against 61 percent won by Mugabe.

 

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