Tsvangirai and Gutu ‘fly over’ WikiLeaks
By Fortune Tazvida
The MDC-T have dismissed reports that Obert Gutu, the party’s provincial spokesman for Harare and also Deputy Justice Minister had been suspended over WikiLeaks revelations that he described President Morgan Tsvangirai as an inept, weak and indecisive leader during a meeting with US diplomats.
The weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper initially reported that the MDC-T Harare provincial executive had two weeks ago suspended Gutu, their spokesman, over the matter. The story quoted MDC-T Harare Province chairman Paul Madzore who claimed they had suspended Gutu ‘indefinitely’ over the statements he allegedly made to US ambassador Charles Ray in January 2010.
Nehanda Radio.com can exclusively reveal that Gutu and Tsvangirai caught a plane together from Johannesburg to Harare in which they sat next to each other. A passenger aboard the 24 September evening flight has confirmed to us that Tsvangirai and Gutu spoke at length about the WikiLeaks reports and laughed about it. The body language suggested the matter was water under the bridge.
Tsvangirai on the day was coming back from a tour of the United States and coincidentally Gutu was also coming back from his own trip to the US but on separate business.
MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti has made it clear the provincial executive has no power to suspend Gutu. “That is not true because the provincial executive has no power to suspend Gutu. It is the national executive that can do that. The provincial executive has not communicated with us on that issue so it is not true that Gutu has been suspended,” Biti explained.
Last month Tsvangirai said he was not losing sleep over statements attributed to three of his trusted lieutenants. Tsvangirai told journalists he had confidence in his “lieutenants” and would not run the country from rumour mills. “Our party regards WikiLeaks with suspicion. We can’t follow rumours and we cannot run a country on gossip. We can’t.”
“We are not doing anything about that and that’s where it ends. I enjoy the support of 12 provinces. That was confirmed at our Bulawayo congress and that is the yardstick of my support. I don’t go about asking people if they support me or not. I don’t see WikiLeaks as a true reflection of the situation in the party. I have confidence in my lieutenants,” Tsvangirai said. Nehanda Radio.com