MDC-T denies Tsvangirai was booed in Bawayo

THE opposition MDC-T party has rejected media reports of a bitter falling out between party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokozani Khupe adding claims the former premier was booed in Bulawayo were imaginary.

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The party is said to be split in two over the decision not to participate in the June 10 by-elections which it forced by recalling from Parliament rebel legislators who had joined the rival Renewal Team.

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Khupe and her allies are said to be outraged with the boycott which they claim will hand-over the party’s Matabeleland stronghold to President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party.

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However, Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka denied the claims, accusing the media of deliberate mischief.

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“There is a strong and deliberate media campaign to equalize the MDC with Zanu PF, where a rift within the Presidency led to serious ramifications that are still being felt both within the party and in government,” Tamborinyoka said in a statement Monday.

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He was referring to the purges in Zanu PF where President Mugabe fired his deputy Joice Mujuru along with several ministers and senior party officials, claiming they were plotting a coup against him.

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Tamborinyoka also rubbished reports that the former premier was booed and humiliated during the party’s ‘No elections without reforms’ campaign in Matebeleland over the weekend.

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“For the record, there were no disturbances during President Tsvangirai’s campaign tour in Matabeleland, where his mission was to explain the party’s Congress resolution to only participate in elections predicated on agreed electoral and political reforms,” said Tamborinyoka.

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“The MDC leader had successful rallies in Phumula, Mpopoma and Tsholotsho where he explained the unequivocal party position taken by Congress, the supreme decision-making body of the party, not to participate in any election or by-election in the absence of key reforms.

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“It is a figment of anyone’s imagination to allege a rift between President Tsvangirai and Hon. Khupe.”

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He added: “It is palpably mischievous to insinuate that the party Vice President is for participation in the forthcoming by-elections in violation of a Congress resolution of a Party where she is Vice President.

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“It is only in Zanu PF where a President and his deputy in the same party can be said to have ‘rival’ supporters and surely, the mischief around that Zanu PF reality should never be exported to the MDC.”

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Tamborinyoka said the MDC leader and his deputy have a very “good” working relationship adding that none of them is working to undermine the Congress resolution not to participate in elections in the absence of reforms.

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“No amount of propaganda will either divide the MDC presidency or sway the party from its avowed and well-considered position to only contest in elections predicated on true reforms that will ensure a credible outcome,” reads the statement.

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The MDC parties have ruled out participating in any elections until reforms are implemented to stop Zanu PF cheating, charges the ruling party denies.