"MDC will emerge from Congress stronger" – Tsvangirai

MASVINGO, – Movement for Democratic Change President Morgan Tsvangirai has warned top party officials to stop splitting the party along factional lines using money ahead of their national Congress to be held in Bulawayo at the end of this month.

Addressing party supporters and the factious provincial leadership at the Civic centre on Saturday Tsvangirai, who was in Masvingo to mend fences between the two warring factions in Masvingo pitting Bernard Chiondegwa and Masvingo urban Legislator, Tongai Matutu that has split the MDC apart since the provincial elections held last week, Tsvangirai said top officials were using money to sway supporters from supporting other members.

He said the continued use of money to buy loyalty from supporters was responsible for the alarming increase in factionalism in the party, a situation he said could spell the down fall of the country’s biggest mass movement party that has been fighting dictatorship in the country for the last decade.

“Our party is being destroyed by some individuals who are abusing their financial muscles to buy loyalty of people thereby splitting our movement. Our party when we formed it had no money and was a party of the poor with a vision to represent the poor in the country but since the coming in of some people with money the party is dividing, money is splitting our party” he said.

Tsvangirai pleaded with party officials and supporters to unite ahead of the congress so that the party will emerge powerful to fight its common enemy, Zanu (PF) in this year’s anticipated elections.

He added that the party would crack whip and chase away all those who abuse their money and use it to split the supporters of the party when they are in a critical time to end Robert Mugabe’s 31 – year-old rule.

“I want to warn all those who are using money to fane factionalism that they have no place in MDC. Any one who will be caught doing that will be expelled from the party because we do not have time to deal with people who want to pull back the struggle. We should be united and strengthen our party so that when we fight our enemy we will be very strong, ” he added.

Reports indicate that some top MDC officials are buying supporters and manipulate them to hate other officials a development that has funned factions as party officials jostle for positions in the provincial and national executive in elections to be held at the Party’s third congress to be held in Bulawayo.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga will be the guest of honour.