Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti in a fierce fight to succeed Tsvangirai & the fighting is going crazy with the 2 men at each other's throat

Tendai Biti & Nelson Chamisa
SHARP divisions have emerged in the strife-torn MDC-T top leadership regarding ex-Premier Morgan Tsvangirai’s succession. It has emerged that organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and secretary-general Tendai Biti are reportedly engaged in fierce fighting, positioning themselves for the party’s top post whenTsvangirai’s term ends in 2016, although neither of them has publicly declared interest.
The two were also reportedly at each other’s throats over the party’s dismal performance in the July 31 elections, the worst since its birth in 1999. MDC-T suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Zanu PF with Tsvangirai trailing Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe by a wide margin.
It is understood that Chamisa also intended to gun for Biti’s position at the next congress, a move which has set him against the secretary-general who has reportedly blocked Tsvangirai’s nationwide rallies on the pretext that the party had no funds.
This came at a time Warren Park MP Elias Mudzuri is also reportedly gunning for the party presidency against Tsvangirai. Mudzuri reportedly told a local daily this week that if people decided that he should be the next MDC-T leader, he would gladly accept.
According to party insiders, the divisions came about following suspicions that Chamisa wanted to stand for the secretary-
general’s post at the next congress and subsequently for the presidency of the party to succeed Tsvangirai.
Another source said: “The loss (on July 31) was largely because of the fight between Biti and Chamisa. Other leaders would not give resources to the organising department accusing Chamisa of imposing candidates and mobilising to topple Biti. Biti was not happy with that move and the fight cascaded down to their supporters.”
The sources added: “Chamisa thinks that he can do it especially after he trounced (former organiser Elias) Mudzuri at the Bulawayo congress for the organiser’s post. He feels he has the people and can be the next secretary of the party. The Biti camp is fighting hard and people aligned to the secretary-general are saying Chamisa must go.”
Yesterday, Chamisa said he had no differences with anybody in the party while Biti said: “I do not comment on those issues. You know the party’s spokesperson.”
Both Biti and Chamisa referred all questions to party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora before hanging up.
Mwonzora dismissed the reports as part of a Zanu PF grand plan to divert the electorate’s attention from its failed policies.
“Those people peddling such falsehoods are fronting Zanu PF which is desperate to project the image of an MDC in turmoil and divert people’s attention from the incompetences of Zanu PF,” Mwonzora said.
“These people want to camouflage the very chaotic elections taking place in Zanu PF, which should be topical now and project the MDC as a party in similar chaos. Biti and Chamisa do not hold same positions in the party. They are aware of their constitutional duties. This is a creation of people who are used by Zanu PF.”
He added: “They also want to portray president Tsvangirai as a person who is not in charge of the MDC and, therefore, erode his brand as a leader. Fortunately, the MDC people are firmly united behind him. The peddlers of the falsehoods want the MDC to be equated to Zanu PF which is torn apart by succession battles.”
In apparent reference to Mudzuri and other top party officials who have openly urged Tsvangirai to step down, Mwonzora said: “Certain acts by some people are self-destructive and extremely unwise. It is not an individual who will choose himself or herself as the leader of the MDC, but the people themselves. Leaders must be very careful not to usurp the powers of the people to choose leadership.
“Tsvangirai has respectfully said debate about his succession in particular and leadership renewal must not be suppressed, but must be the preserve of MDC members.
“The leader of the MDC is Morgan Tsvangirai. He was elected unopposed by congress in Bulawayo in 2011 and was given a five-year mandate. Every leader and genuine member of the MDC must respect the presidency of Tsvangirai. Anyone who wishes for any position he or she can contest at the 2016 congress.”
Of late, several top MDC-T leaders, among them Mudzuri, treasurer-general Roy Bennett and ex-Marondera Central MP Ian Kay have openly challenged Tsvangirai to step down following his third successive defeat by Mugabe.
Meanwhile, the strife-torn party yesterday deferred a crucial standing committee meeting to today.
Mwonzora said: “The national standing committee is no longer meeting today (Wednesday). It will now be meeting on Thursday and this was only done, I think, to accommodate other members who could not be available.”
NewsDay

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