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EMBATTLED MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai is wrong to parade himself as the legitimate leader of the party on his trip to the United Kingdom, while his party is further disintegrating because of his unorthodox leadership.Mr Tsvangirai is in the UK and is today expected to make an address at Chatham House on the topic: “Zimbabwe after the disputed election and the way forward.”

He was initially supposed to speak on the future of opposition politics in Zimbabwe, but changed the subject to deflect focus on himself and his embattled party.

It emerged yesterday that at least 19 legislators from both the National Assembly and Senate have so far defected to the Renewal Team led by secretary general Mr Tendai Biti that suspended Mr Tsvangirai on allegations of failing to provide leadership for the party and bringing its name into disrepute.

The MDC-T has 49 National Assembly members and 21 in the Senate.

The legislators include Tendai Biti (Harare East), Lucia Matibenga (Kuwadzana), Evelyn Masaiti Muzungu (non-constituency), Simon Sipepa-Nkomo (Lobengula), Mrs Roselene Nkomo (Tsholotsho North), Willas Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo), Solomon Madzore (Dzivarasekwa), Paul Madzore (Glen View South), Reggie Moyo (Luveve) and Bekithemba Nyathi (Pelandaba-Mpopoma).

The others are Judith Muzhavazhe (non-constituency), Brian Tshuma (Hwange Central), Arnold Tsunga (Dangamvura-Chikanga), Gorden Moyo (Makokoba), Moses Manyengavana (Highfied West), Sekai Holland (Senator Harare) Watchy Sibanda (Senator Matabeleland South) and Rorana Muchihwa (Senator Harare).

MDC Renewal Team spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume yesterday said Mr Tsvangirai was not the leader of the MDC-T.

“It is delusionary, the reality on the ground is that he has been suspended and is trying to cling on to power,” he said. “The problems of Zimbabwe are rooted here and this “rally tourism” will not validate him or get him anywhere.”

On the legislators on their side, Mr Mafume could only say most of the parliamentarians were supporting the Renewal Team.

“I cannot comment on individuals, but what I know is that the majority of MPs are for renewal,” he said.

Contacted for comment, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora insisted that Mr Tsvangirai remained the legitimate leader of the MDC-T.

“The MDC-T is united and president Tsvangirai remains the legitimate leader of the party and anybody saying anything to the contrary is mad and is a political failure,” he said.

Mr Mwonzora said that those who were in the Renewal Team had formed their own party and had nothing to do with the MDC-T.

Source : The Herald