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MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has come under fire for trying to centralise power after constitutional amendments aimed at weakening the office of the secretary general ahead of the party’s congress in October were proposed .This comes as the main opposition party is facing resistance from party members asked to pay various amounts in underwriting and subscription fees to raise funds for the party’s congress.

Mr Tsvangirai, who witnessed two splits at the instigation of the party’s secretaries general, has now moved in to dilute the powers of the head of the secretariat.

In terms of the constitutional amendments that have been proposed, no money would be withdrawn from the party’s bank account without the signature of the party president.

“In the first split that we experienced the secretary general Professor Welshman Ncube and treasurer general Mr Fletcher Dulini-Ncube went with all the money because they were the custodians of the party funds and property,” said a highly placed source within the MDC-T.

“The same happened with the present scenario where secretary general Tendai Biti and deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma have gone with the money and other resources.

“Mr Tsvangirai feels it is only fair that he is directly involved in the movement of money and party property. But there is need for sufficient checks and balances. Another problem is that the post of secretary general is one of the most coveted one and if you weaken it, you demoralise those eyeing the office together with their hangers on.”

On subscription and underwriting fees, branch members are expected to pay US$1 and 50c for subscription before one is registered in the ongoing restructuring the party has embarked on ahead of the congress.

Ward executive members pay US$2, while district executive members are suppose to pay US$5, with the amount rising according to party hierarchy.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora admitted that there were constitutional amendments underway, one of which included the role of the secretary general which he said had been abused by the two incumbents.

He said the constitutional amendments would seek to clarify the role of the secretary general.

“There is no intention to limit the powers of the secretary general because that is not the problem,” said Mr Mwonzora. “The problem is lack of specificity and clarity on the role.

“The solution is going to be making the powers and responsibilities of the secretary general more specific,” said Mr Mwonzora.

Source : The Herald