Vusumuzi Dube, Sunday News Reporter
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused of exhibiting dictatorial tendencies by not including any of his party structures in negotiations with other opposition parties for the formation of a coalition ahead of the general elections next year.
Party members have expressed disgust at what they term arrogance on the part of their leader as they allege that he has made it clear that whatever decision which he makes regarding the final coalition deal was to be accepted by the entire party.
The members claimed that even the party’s national council was not privy to any negotiations surrounding the coalition leading to speculation among party structures on the exact contents of the final agreement.
“We are confused on what really is happening regarding this whole coalition issue, I think the biggest problem which we did was giving our president (Mr Tsvangirai) too much power because right now he has made it clear that anything regarding the coalition goes through him alone.
“In Bulawayo, for example, during the national council meeting we were told that we will give up the Pumula, Njube-Lobengula and Mpopoma constituencies to the coalition partners but now it has changed as it is now Nkulumane, Luveve and Pumula. We are not even being consulted in the process, when members at the grassroots ask us what is happening we are left tongue-tied because we are also in the dark,” said a party member in Bulawayo.
Another party member who is part of the Midlands Provincial Executive said they were frustrated as they were not being consulted hence they were fears that whatever agreement was going to be signed, it would be rejected by ordinary members.
“What Mr Tsvangirai is forgetting is that it is the provinces who will have the task of selling the final coalition agreement to the general membership and besides we interact with our membership on a day to day basis hence I feel we best know the issues on the ground.
“As a province we have tried alerting our national leaders that it is important we are included in all these deliberations but it appears it’s about Mr Tsvangirai, not MDC-T, and the other parties, which I feel is unfair,” said the party member.
Contacted for comment, the party’s spokesperson, Mr Obert Gutu, confirmed that Mr Tsvangirai was negotiating the coalition deal alone but claimed he had got the full backing of the party to do so.
“MDC-T members know what is going on, they gave our president the full mandate to negotiate any coalition deal on behalf of the party. True party cadres are fully aware of this and if there is anyone saying anything contrary to this they are being malicious and clear enemies of our party.
“As the information department we are saying that these people who are spreading these sentiments are hell bent on destroying the party and should be stopped with immediate effect,” said Mr Gutu.
Questioned on whether party structures were ever consulted ahead of the coalition talks, Mr Gutu said as far as he was concerned the structures had fully backed Mr Tsvangirai to negotiate on behalf of the party.