THE defections of two legislators about two councillors from MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai to join the MDC Renewal Team fronted by Tsvangirai critics, yesterday confirmed rising speculations that the former trade unionist has lost grip of his once-strong brand which for the first time after independence shook Zanu-PF.
During a Press conference at Sipepa Nkomo’s home in Bulawayo yesterday where the defectors were officially introduced, they accused Tsvangirai of watching helplessly as his deputy Thokozani Khupe and deputy national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe engineered rigging of the provincial polls.
Among the notable defectors at the official unveiling were MPs Albert Mhlanga, former MDC-T women’s assembly chairperson Gladys Mathe and some councillors.
Senator Matson Hlalo and Binga North MP Dubeko Prince Sibanda were reported to have crossed the floor although they did not attend yesterday’s meeting.
Speaking on behalf of the new members, Mhlanga said the elective provincial congress, characterised by accusations of rigging, proved to be the final straw and they found it impossible to continue as MDC-T members.
“The provincial congress confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that MDC-T no longer respects the norms and values of democracy and its own constitution,” he said.
Mhlanga claimed scores of hired thugs and street kids disguised as party members were smuggled into the congress as delegates. He said there was no attempt by party leadership to bring normalcy during the provincial congress.
Lobengula, Makokoba, Bulawayo East and Magwegwe elected districts members were allegedly barred from voting.
Yesterday disgruntled members from districts that were ejected by Tsvangirai told Bulawayo24 news that they will this week officially cross the floor to the MDC Renewal Team fronted by Tendai Biti, MDC-T former secretary general.
“About 14 councillors will this week officially resign from the MDC-T because of Tsvangirai’s growing levels of intolerance and undemocratic tendencies,” a party insider said strictly on condition of anonymity.
“A number of members have approached me asking me to call a meeting where we should decide our next move. I shall call a meeting on Wednesday this week before we call a press conference to announce where we stand,” the source linked to developments within the party said.
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