Holland takes over MDC Renewal Team
By Lloyd Mbiba
HARARE – Senator Sekai Holland has been officially appointed the MDC renewal team’s interim president.
Previously led by Tendai Biti, the MDC’s former Guardian Council chairperson told journalists on Tuesday at her home in Avondale, Harare, that she was now the interim president of the renewal team.
“I therefore on this note and occasion officially assume the role of interim party president as directed by the national council at Mandel,” Holland said.
Jacob Mafume, spokesperson of the MDC renewal team, confirmed that Holland was the new leader, adding that was what came out of the Mandel meeting that resolved that the party was now under the chairmanship of the Guardian Council.
Meanwhile, Holland railed against Morgan Tsvangirai, and said his leadership style was aberrant to democracy and that he had personalised the mainstream MDC.
“It is clear that MDC-Tsvangirai has become a personal property of one individual,” Holland said.
“It is time to reject that and return to our founding principles. The MDC renewal team is where those who still adhere to the original values and principles of the party are regrouping.
“His leadership style is totally unacceptable. A leader of the party should be filled according to experience and ability to contribute.
“Yet someone as talented as Elias Mudzuri, who was a major factor in our winning the 2008 election was unceremoniously sacked. His replacement was a huge failure who failed to organise the party structures,” she said apparently referring to new organising secretary Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa said he would not say anything more than sympathise “with Holland’s mental composition.”
“She seems to be fuelled by hatred of personalities like myself and my president Morgan Tsvangirai to the extent of failing to distinguish between fact and fiction,” Chamisa told the Daily News.
“In the MDC, election strategy is a creature of the elections directorate as chaired by the national chairman, with the office of the secretary-general being the secretariat. Equally, primary elections fall under the gambit or aegis of the elections directorate.
“They must leave me alone. We have done the best under the circumstances. Look at the Cross Over Rally (held two days ahead of the July 31 harmonised elections), the recent one (last weekend) in Masvingo, we are in full throttle. In terms of organising, we are on all fours.
“Our structures are in all parts of the country. We don’t want to give a free lecture to a senior citizen like Sekai Holland, it’s not fair.”
Chamisa said if Holland was speaking about the success story of 2008, “why is she such a candidate of selective amnesia to forget that we ran the best media campaign, the “Morgan is more campaign” against Zanu PF.
A successful election campaign is a function of both the message and the messenger.
“That’s why I said I sympathise with her mental composition, and I genuinely wish her to get well soon.”
Chamisa said Holand was “driven and motivated by hatred, and motored by malice.
“We don’t lose sleep over petty issues. It’s a childish utterance by such a senior citizen of our country, which is both encyclopaedic and legendary,” Chamisa said.
Holland accused Tsvangirai of being the main engineer of violence in the MDC.
“Violence as a means of and oppression remains a central feature of the party with accusations never investigated properly that it emanates from the president’s office,” she said.
“The failure to institute mechanisms to deal with such a central matter as violence which MDC members in their thousands have experienced remains a sore point for most and for me as a torture survivor, the issue of violence must be a priority to our politics to normalise.”
Holland alleged party funds were abused. “Party finances have been abused for personal benefit and there has been no accountability to either of the senior party organs, the national executive and the national council,” she said.
“Assets purchased for party work are now explained to members as owned by individuals.”
The senator also accused Tsvangirai of being the sole reason for the demise of talks between the MDC and the renewal team.
“To secure that response, I instituted a process of mediation with a professional, experienced and international mediator.
“That was ultimately rejected by Tsvangirai after an initially promising start and three weeks of intense talking,” Holland said.
On her new role, Holland said she would consolidate the renewal team and make it a viable opposition movement.
“The interim leadership will focus on healing the internal divisions, put mechanisms in place to resolve internal party challenges and strengthen our many policies that will put the opposition party back on track,” she said.
“We will build our entity into a model of what an opposition party must be. It is critical that MDC sets up the standards of a strong viable party that can put our country back on its feet.” Daily News