Home » Governance » Tsvangirai, Biti Inflate Figures

MDC-T factions led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti have been inflating figures of members of the 176-member national council who turned up at their respective inda-bas at Harvest House and Mandel Training Centre on Tuesday and Saturday, respectively.

Officials from both factions have refused to release attendance registers for their meetings, fuelling suspicion that they had something to hide.

Investigations by The Herald showed that both factions failed to constitute the required two-thirds majority attendance required for their meetings to be quorate.

However, both factions proceeded to effect suspensions and expulsions of their rivals on the basis of the improperly constituted meetings with the Tsvangirai camp claiming 162 out of 167 members had voted for the expulsions, while the Biti camp said 136 out of 138 had voted to suspend Mr Tsvangirai and his kitchen cabinet, MDC-T speak for his close confidantes.

In terms of the MDC-T constitution, a binding national council resolution must be endorsed by at least a two-thirds majority of national council members.

Although Mr Tsvangirai claimed that his council meeting at the party headquarters at Harvest House was attended by 167 members, it emerged that only 58 members pitched up, including standing committee members.

MDC-T sources that attended the meeting described the meeting as a kangaroo court that was aimed at ensuring Mr Biti’s ouster.

“There was no quorum to talk about,” said the source.

“Only 58 members attended that meeting, but a decision was passed because the idea was to make sure that Biti was expelled.

“Even in the national executive, only 20 attended out of the 52 members.”

With regards to Mr Biti’s meeting at Mandel Training Centre, it is understood that about 38 national council members attended, although he claimed that the figure stood at 138.

Mr Biti claimed that the 138 members voted to suspend Mr Tsvangirai and some members of his inner circle.

“A decision was already taken that Tsvangirai should be suspended and the Mandel meeting was just made to rubber stamp that,” said a source close to the meeting.

It is understood that sitting provincial chairpersons who attended Mr Biti’s meeting were Mr Costin Muguti (Midlands North), Mr Wilstuff Sitemere (Masvingo) and Mr Watchy Sibanda (Matabeleland South).

Suspended chairpersons for Manicaland Mr Julius Magarangoma, Mr Paul Madzore (Harare) and Mr Sengeso Tshabangu of Matabeleland North also attended the meeting with their delegations.

On the other hand, Mr Piniel Denga (Mashonaland East), Mr Alexio Musundire (Chitungwiza), Mr Japhet Karemba (Mashonaland West) and Mrs Lilian Timveous (Midlands South) are the sitting chairpersons who attended the national council convened by Mr Tsvangirai.

Mr Morgan Femai, who was imposed following the suspension of Mr Madzore in Harare, attended the Harvest House meeting on the Harare ticket.

Mr Magarangoma said he attended the meeting with seven other people from Manicaland, but declined name them.

A source from Midlands North said bogus people from the province attended the Harvest House meeting, among them deputy chairperson Mr Sidwell Bhebhe, vice organising secretary, a Mr Musiniwa and three other people.

But another source from Mashonaland West said bogus members from the province attended Mr Biti’s meeting.

“The only genuine national council members from the province who attended the Mandel meeting are Tawanda Bvumo who is a former treasurer and Biggie Haurovi former information publicity secretary,” said the source.

“The bogus ones are Abigail Sauti a party youth from Chinhoyi, another youth Fidelis Mugari from Zvimba and former MP, Severeno Chambati. There is also Jacob Mafume who holds no position even at district level who also attended the purported national council meeting.”

It is understood that from Masvingo, Mr Sitemere, secretary Mr Tongai Matutu, organiser Mr Ernest Mudavanhu, youth chairperson Mr Oliver Chirume and national executive member Jefferyson Chitando attended the Mandel meeting.

It could not be ascertained who from the province attended the Harvest House meeting.

A source in Matabeleland North said Mr Sengezo Tshabangu, Mr Frederick Ngwenya and Mr Gift Mabhena and other members attended the Mandel meeting, while it could not be ascertained who attended Mr Tsvangirai’s meeting from the province.

Sources said all those who attended Mr Tsvangirai’s meeting were made to sign affidavits in case the battle to control the party spills into the courts and there is need to provide proof of the number of people who attended the meeting.

Source : The Herald