MDC-T rebels forming a new political party
BULAWAYO – MDC-T "rebels" who contested the elections as independent candidates are working on modalities of forming a new political party.
In an interview yesterday, former MDC-T legislator for Magwegwe, Mr Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda, said the new party, which is yet to be named, would hold its first congress before the end of the year.
Mr Sibanda is one of the people who were fired from the party after they contested the elections as independent candidates in protest against what they said was rigging and tribalism in the party’s primary elections.
“We have members that include senior MDC-T people who are not happy about the path the party is taking. We also have people from other political parties who share our vision.
At the moment, we cannot reveal who they are as we are waiting for them to resign first. We are also waiting for the outcome of the election dispute in court to make our strategic move. We shall settle on a name for the party at the congress,” said Mr Sibanda.
He reiterated calls for Mr Tsvangirai and his standing committee to resign, saying those who heeded the call would be “rehabilitated” and absorbed into the new party.
“With president Tsvangirai, we would welcome him to the new party because most of the things that went wrong in the MDC-T happened without his knowledge. If members of the party accept him, with reasons, we can make him a ceremonial president and later, a prime minister in a new government if we win in 2018,” said Mr Sibanda.
He said funding for the new party was wholly indigenous.
“As long as we have human resources, there is no problem about funding. We are networking with businesspeople and consulting Zimbabweans locally and in the Diaspora about the way forward,” said Mr Sibanda.
The former legislator said independent candidates who broke away from MDC-T just before the elections formed the nucleus of the new party.
“When we stood as independents, we were just making a statement to the party leadership that things were not going right in the party. Very soon we will all be coming out in the open.
It is the standing committee that is to blame for most of this mess as they failed to uphold the party’s democratic constitution during the primary elections, leading to discontent among members,” he said.
Mr Sibanda is on record saying MDC founder members like him had been kicked out of the party and replaced by “quislings.”
MDC-T standing committee members are Mr Tsvangirai, his deputy Ms Thokozani Khupe, national chairperson, Mr Lovemore Moyo, vice-chairperson Mr Morgen Komichi, Mr Tendai Biti, the secretary general and his deputy Mr Tapiwa Mashakada.
The other members are Mr Roy Bennett the treasurer general, Mr Elton Mangoma the deputy treasurer general, Mr Nelson Chamisa the national organising secretary with Mr Abednico Bhebhe being his deputy, Mr Douglas Mwonzora is the secretary for information and publicity. Ms Theresa Makone is the chairperson of the Women’s Assembly and Mr Solomon Madzore leads the Youth Assembly.
MDC split on 12 October 2005 in the wake of severe differences over participation in Senate elections with Mr Tsvangirai, who was pressuring for a boycott, leading what was then called the anti-Senate faction, while Mr Gibson Sibanda, now late, led the pro-Senate faction.
The anti-Senate faction was to become present-day MDC-T while the pro-Senate faction is the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube, further split to spawn MDC99 which is led by Mr Job Sikhala.