Monday, November 04, 2013

(HERALD ZW) Tsvangirai must go chorus gets louder: Mwonzora
October 11, 2013
Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter

THE chorus for the ouster of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai from the helm of MDC-T for failing to unseat President Mugabe in three Presidential elections continues to grow louder, with party structures at national level openly calling on Mr Tsvangirai to step down. For the first time since Mr Tsvangirai’s drubbing in the July 31 harmonised elections, MDC-T spokesperson Mr aDouglas Mwonzora has confirmed the development.

He told a Press conference at Harvest House — the MDC-T headquarters — in Harare yesterday that there were divisions within the leadership on the subject.

“Yes, there are people who have raised issues in the national executive, in the national council, at various forums,” said Mr Mwonzora in response to questions on whether some officials raised the issue of leadership renewal at senior level.

“They have raised the issue about the need for leadership renewal. And there are other people who have also raised the issue that they don’t think it’s a good idea and that we should remain with the leadership that we have.”

Mr Mwonzora said officials were allowed to call for leadership renewal during party meetings.

While the white element within MDC-T — treasurer-general Mr Roy Bennett, former Marondera Central legislator Mr Ian Kay and Bulawayo South legislator Mr Edward Cross — have been outspoken about the need for Mr Tsvangirai to step down, Mr Mwonzora said there were also blacks within the formation calling for leadership renewal.

He said Mr Bennett and Mr Kay jumped the gun by calling for Mr Tsvangirai’s ouster through the Press without using formal channels.
“MDC-T is a party of rules. It has a constitution and it has regulations. Part of the leadership’s responsibility is to make sure that all party members abide by the constitution and rules of the party. If these rules are not being abided by, the leadership has a constitutional responsibility to make sure that the constitutional rules and regulations are followed.

“Regarding the issue of those people who are talking about leadership renewal or succession, the position of MDC-T and the position of (party) president Mr Tsvangirai is that those issues are not crimes within the party.

“People within the party are free to express their views in any manner that they like in the national council, in the national executive and in the national standing committee, this was made clear.

“This was also made clear to the provinces and to the districts that whoever wants to talk about leadership renewal in whatever manner is free. What is not permissible is for party members to ignore the platforms given them by the party. We do not agree with people who then discuss these things in the Press without exhausting the debate internally. The issue of leadership renewal is the preserve of members of MDC-T.

It is not to be discussed with general members including members of the opposition to the MDC-T.”

Mr Mwonzora said the national council, national executive and the standing committee resolved that the current leadership headed by Mr Tsvangirai would remain in place until the party’s elective congress slated for for 2016.

Mr Tsvangirai has reportedly expressed interest to represent the party at the 2018 harmonised elections after having lost consecutively to President Mugabe since 2002.

Mr Mwonzora claimed there was no factionalism in MDC-T as having divergent views did not translate to factionalism.

He defended the party’s decision to take councillors who defied the party decision in voting for mayors of their choice, for disciplinary hearing.

He said the councillors would have to answer questions on whether by voting for mayors of their choice, they carried the mandate of the electorate who voted for them.

Mr Mwonzora said his party would contest any by-election.
He claimed that there were incumbent legislators who remained on boards of State entities beyond the stipulated constitutional time-frame and thereby by operation of the law losing their seats.

Mr Mwonzora said they expected by-elections to be called in those constituencies.

However, all legislators who held positions on boards before the elections stated that they resigned before the 30-day deadline.

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