HARARE – MDC Chitungwiza province has rallied behind Morgan Tsvangirai, saying leadership renewal will be akin to changing a winning team.
In the aftermath of the crushing defeat the party suffered at the hands of Zanu PF, party stalwarts who include treasurer-general Roy Bennett and former Marondera MP Ian Kay suggested that Tsvangirai should step down to allow the party to reinvent itself.
In light of these developments, the ex-majority party has asked its provincial, district, ward and branch structures to deliberate on the contentious issue following successive national executive committee meetings where the issue took centre stage.
Chitungwiza becomes the first to officially pronounce their support for Tsvangirai since the potentially explosive issue was opened for discussion by the lower structures of the party.
At a provincial executive meeting held last weekend at the party’s provincial headquarters in the dormitory town, south-east of the capital Harare, the party resolved to stick to the current party leadership saying it had won both the 2008 and 2013 polls only to be “robbed” of the victory.
“There are those who have suggested that there be a leadership renewal in the party but as Chitungwiza province we believe that under the current leadership the party won both the 2008 and 2013 elections.
“You do not change a winning team just because it is being cheated at prize-giving time. A new leadership will not suddenly inspire Zanu PF to shut down Tobaiwa Mudede’s rigging machinery.”
Likening the ruling Zanu PF party to a cancer that is eating away the country’s political and economic fabric, the opposition MDC called on its supporters to coalesce around Tsvangirai’s leadership.
The party also accused Zanu PF of being at the fore front of leading calls to oust Tsvangirai to weaken the labour-backed ex-majority party as well as diverting its attention from the revolutionary party’s “leadership deficiency”.
“The time to unite around our leadership is not only when all is well but especially now when chips seem to be down.”
The statement was signed by provincial chairperson and Zengeza East legislator Alexei Musundire and organising secretary Canisio Makururu who lost the Chitungwiza South seat to Zanu PF’s Christopher Chigumba.
Tsvangirai’s endorsement by Chitungwiza province is yet another sign that the former Prime Minister is on track to consolidate his grip on the party after a tumultuous three months after the July 31 polls.
Moreover, the party seems to have successfully whipped Kay into line after they amicably resolved their differences at a meeting with the former legislator last week.
This was after Kay showed remorse and he acknowledged he had made a mistake to speak to the press about the need for leadership change — a subject the party considers to be exclusive to the party.