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MDC-Team members jostle for posts

Felex Share Herald Reporter
A fight for posts is brewing in the MDC-Team led by secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti amid reports that four officials are eyeing the presidency.
Although the camp indicated at its Mandel meeting recently that it was not breaking away from MDC-T, it emerged yesterday that it had come up with a line-up it would support at congress if it happened to attend the event in October.

However, speculation is rife that the camp might form its own political outfit if it fails to oust party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai or is barred from attending the October congress.

Tendai Biti
Sources close to the goings on in the MDC-T intimated that Messrs Biti, deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma and national executive member Engineer Elias Mudzuri are reportedly vying for the top post, while guardian council acting chairperson Ms Sekai Holland believed to be the linked to Australian donors, is emerging as the dark horse.

Eng Mudzuri, however, has since distanced himself from the two factions, intimating the people would chose leaders at congress.
Mr Biti and his camp crossed paths with Mr Tsvangirai after they convened a national council meeting recently that suspended the MDC-T leadership, including Mr Tsvangirai.

The sources said daggers are being drawn ahead of a convention provisionally set for Gweru on May 25.
A proposed list seen by The Herald showed that members of the renewal team have started positioning themselves with Mr Biti being touted as the president.

However, the proposals are reportedly being met with stiff resistance by the other aspirants.
Mr Mangoma has been proposed to be the national chairman, Mr Samuel Sipepa Nkomo first vice president, with Mrs Lucia Matibenga as second vice president.

Others on the list include Bulawayo provincial chairman Mr Gorden Moyo (secretary-general), Mr Solomon Madzore (deputy secretary general), Eng Mudzuri (organising secretary), Mr Alexio Musundire (deputy organising secretary), Mr Julius Magarangoma (vice chairman), Mr Arnold Tsunga (deputy treasurer), Mr Settlement Chikwinya (deputy spokesperson), Ms Evelyn Masaiti (women chairperson) and Mr Promise Mkwananzi (youth chair).


However, Mr Musundire attended a national council meeting convened by Mr Tsvangarai.
The proposed list also has self-exiled treasurer-general Mr Roy Bennett who maintains his position, a development that might effectively confirm his parting ways with Mr Tsvangirai if he agrees.

Mr Bennett is among the renewal proponents who have been calling for a new leadership.
Spokesperson for the renewal team, Mr Jacob Mafume, yesterday confirmed that a convention was on the cards.
He said it was normal for people to compete for positions as it showed that the part was a “competitive arena”.

“A convention is going to be held but the date and venue is not yet there,” he said. “But the aim is to bring together democratic forces together and create a platform to deal with the challenges facing Zimbabwe. It is a competitive arena and people do compete for positions but we have resolved that people maintain their current positions until the congress.”

Mr Mafume said it was not surprising that some quarters were seeing Ms Holland as a presidential contestant.
“It is not about funding,” he said. “She is in the guardian council and therefore the most senior person in the party and there is no problem in that. People jostle for positions everywhere but you organise the party in a manner that the leadership positions mean something. It has to be done in a co-ordinated manner.”

He claimed that other big names within MDC-T were behind the camp.
“This is not a joke and that is why Tsvangirai and his people are panicking, moving around the country suspending people in the provinces. If those they are suspending are their people why suspend them?”

Sources said the convention would discuss the proposed positions.
“It is scheduled for Gweru unless the venue is changed,” said the source.

“Biti has been in control, engineering most of the things, but there are also other proponents like Mangoma who think that they have done enough to lead the camp,” he said.

“As for Holland, she is in touch with some donors from Australia and by that she is beginning to take a leading role, but most people think otherwise.”

Added the source: “Chikwinya has also indicated that he will never deputise Mafume considering the role he has played in calling for leadership renewal.
“It is a challenge and we wait to see how this puzzle is going to be solved because if not handled carefully, the guys will go separate ways again.”
Herald
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