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Karangas fighting for Tsvangirai, zezurus & manyikas pressing for his ouster

by Lloyd Gumbo
20 Feb 2014 at 06:13hrs | Views
Regionalism is behind the succession battles rocking the opposition MDC-T, with karangas reportedly fighting from party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's corner, while zezurus and manyikas are said to be pressing for his ouster.

However, investigations by the Herald, have since established that the karangas wanted to use Mr Tsvangirai's "brand" by claiming to be behind him so that they could "win" the succession battle at the party's congress and then topple him.

It is understood that Mr Tsvangirai was born to a karanga father - Dzingirai Chibwe Tsvangirai - who hailed from Gutu in Masvingo province.

An internal MDC-T inquiry commissioned in 2004 seen by The Herald also indicates that the party had always been riddled with factional politics since its inception, which Mr Tsvangirai failed to contain.

Organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, and Messrs Ian Makone, Murisi Zwizwai, Obert Gutu and Mrs Lucia Matibenga, are all said to be the leaders of the karanga faction.

All of them hail from Masvingo province. On the other hand, Mr Tendai Biti, Mr Elton Mangoma and Mr Gift Chimanikire, who initially were Mr Tsvangirai's right hand men, but have since broken ranks with him, reportedly lead the other faction seeking his ouster.

The position of Mr Elias Mudzuri who has expressed his party presidential ambitions, could not be ascertained.

"It is just a regional thing (infighting). The karangas want to retain power through hook and crook by claiming to be on Morgan' side yet they are positioning themselves to have another karanga leading the party. Chamisa has ambitions so he has managed to hoodwink the rest of the karangas into supporting the retention of power.

"On the other hand, the zezurus, manyika and korekore are saying enough is enough. They are saying it is high time someone else leads the party since top positions were biased towards the karangas. But we also have people like (Douglas) Mwonzora who have joined the karangas because he is positioning himself for a senior position at the congress.

"Essentially, both camps agree that Morgan must go but the fight is on who will succeed him. It's nasty behind the scenes. Its dog eat dog now but fate will have its way," said an insider.

Another one added: "It is not by coincidence that those who hail from Masvingo want Morgan to remain there. But they only want him there until congress in 2016. They believe his legacy and brand will help them emerge victorious at the congress. It's going to be interesting going forward."

A commission of inquiry report into the violence that rocked the combined MDC in 2004, culminating in the acrimonius split of October 12 2005, indicates that the MDC was always faction ridden.

The commissioners, the late Mr Tichaona Mudzingwa, Mr Giles Mutsekwa and Mr Moses Mzila-Ndlovu interviewed the then director of security - Peter Guhu - who confessed the karangas' political ambitions.

He said the late Isaac Matongo, Mrs Matibenga, Mr Gandi Mudzingwa, Mr Dennis Murira, Mr Makone, Mr James Makore and the late Dr Mudzingwa, who was part of the probe team, belonged to the karanga faction.

He told them that the "tribal clique" was bent on making sure former secretary-general Professor Welshman Ncube did not take over if Mr Tsvangirai had been convicted on treason charges.

"I would also add that Matongo's group strongly believed that the president would be convicted, leaving a leadership vacuum which in their view must never be filled by a Ndebele person contrary to the MDC party constitutional provisions.

"The group went on to distribute leadership positions among themselves in readiness to take control of the party as soon as the president was convicted as follows; president - Mr Isaac Matongo, vice president Mr Gandi Mudzingwa, national chairperson, Mrs Matibenga,

secretary general, Mr Dennis Murira and treasurer general, Mr Ian Makone," Guhu told the probe team.

The source said the Ndebeles were confused on which camp to back hence they have not yet made pronouncements on the issue.

In its recommendations, the probe team urged the MDC-T congress to effectively deal with the issue of factionalism.

But MDC-T spokesperson, Mr Douglas Mwonzora dismissed the claims yesterday.

"I am not interested in that tribal rubbish. This is just an attempt to tribalise our politics. Definitely the MDC-T is not a tribal party. (If that was the case) how do you explain the difference in opinion between Mwonzora and Mangoma? How do you explain the difference in opinion between Tongai Matutu and Chamisa? How do you explain the difference in opinion between Theresa Makone and Tendai Biti? It shows that theory is just rubbish," said Mr Mwonzora.

All is not well in the MDC-T camp as witnessed by the bashing of Mr Mangoma, youth secretary general Mr Promise Mkwananzi, while Mr Biti and chairperson Mr Solomon Madzore escaped the marauding youths.

Source - The Herald