Loyalist Faction Sets In Motion Rebellion Against Robert Gabriel Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai, seen here with Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos, is almost certain to come back home to a party in turmoil. After his fulsome praise of Mugabe, and his insistence that Mugabe is the solution in Zimbabwe, "indispensable and irreplaceable", it will be difficult for him to try and smear his opponents in party as people "bought by ZANU PF", which is his and his supporters normal chorus for anyone who disagrees with the dictatorial manner in which he is putting the MDC into his back pocket. That argument is now tired and no one believes it any more. In fact, just today, at Fourth Street terminus, ordinary people could be heard wondering out loud if it is Tsvangirai himself who has been "bought" by Mugabe.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 09 October 2009
Today, Tsvangirai loyalists in the MDC were deliberating over the fate of nine councillors from Redcliff, who stand accused of supporting a faction that is seeking the removal of Morgan Tsvangirai from the leadership of the MDC.
Although the results of that meeting, still in progress as I write this, are yet to be known, the Councillors expect to be "fired" from the party. Should this happen, the MDC intends to demand by-elections in all nine wards affected in the mining town.
This is where it gets interesting.
The fate of these Councillors has a direct impact on the imminent split within the MDC. Because they stand accused of supporting the anti-Tsvangirai faction of the MDC, those who are unhappy about the way the MDC leader and Prime Minister of Zimbabwe is softening up and abandoning the democratic project within Zimbabwe intends to use this event as the catalyst for a wider rebellion that will instantly shatter the opposition party.
The depth of the disaffection within the MDC is simply astounding.
There are, now confirmed, four senior ministers in the Inclusive Government from the Tsvangirai MDC who are leading the rebellion. They also sit on the National Executive Council of the MDC.
In addition, senior parliamentary people on the MDC-T ticket also stand opposed to Tsvangirai's "hijacking of the people's project for his and his friends' benefit".
This, of course, is apart from the fact that the both the National Council and the National Executive of the MDC are also split in half, with one half against Tsvangirai and the other supporting him in the hope of benefiting from the gravy train that he now controls.
The names lined up against Tsvangirai within the MDC are rather surprising. Shocking, in fact and it would appear that they are the most influential people in that party, just as happened when everybody from the Secretary-general to the Vice-president of the MDC split from him to form what is now the Mutambara MDC.
Tsvangirai survived that split because he played the tribal card, publicly labelling those who had sought to depose him as "Ndebele tribalists" who were against him because he was a Shona.
This time around, it will be impossible for him to do this.
Amongst some of the people who are gunning for him are candidates who had won primary elections to stand for parliament but who Tsvangirai unilaterally removed from the list and imposed his loyalists. A good number of such seats ended up going to ZANU PF, especially in the Midlands province, as disenchanted MDC supporters failed to turn up to vote last year. Otherwise the MDC victory would have been even larger in parliament than it turned out to be.
So, by setting in motion the expulsion of these Councillors, the Tsvangirai loyalists who were meeting at Harvest House today are actually ensuring that the whole thing is blown wide open. By tomorrow, we should know what direction they have decided to take.
Once they force the confrontation, you are going to see some very powerful and senior figures in the MDC come out against Tsvangirai and his band of toadying lackeys at Harvest House.
We are in for a very turbulent but exciting time!