By Mugove Tafirenyika
HARARE – MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s overtures urging those who had left his party and crossed floors to a rival MDC outfit led by Tendai Biti to return to the opposition party have been snubbed.
Following an acrimonious fallout with some of his former comrades, including former treasurer-general Elton Mangoma who was calling for leadership renewal in the aftermath of Tsvangirai’s disputed loss to President Robert Mugabe in the 2013 elections, the MDC leader extended an olive branch to the rebels to renounce their rebellion.
Tsvangirai’s party deployed secretary for mobilisation and recruitment Job Sikhala to lure back the erstwhile allies.
Sikhala’s mission was doomed after he was snubbed by over a dozen high-ranking MDC Renewal Team officials.
Former MDC MP for Hurungwe West Severino Tall Chambati, who is now Renewal Team’s organising secretary for Mashonaland West province, told the Daily News yesterday that he and little-known officials including national executive member Tawanda Bvumo, provincial chairman Eddy Ndiraire and Tonderai Kusemamuriwo, had met Tsvangirai and turned down his request.
To his credit, however, Sikhala managed to rope back to the mainstream MDC former Chegutu mayor Francis Dhlakama and former Mashonaland West spokesperson Biggie Haurobi.
“Sikhala came to persuade us to return and he facilitated a meeting with Tsvangirai at his house some two weeks ago after we demanded to hear what he had to say,” Chambati said.
“We did not, however, agree on anything because the president did not give us assurances that we would be truly and genuinely accommodated. All he did was to tell us that we were welcome but we wanted to know how, what was there for us because we have not forgotten that Morgen Komichi once told us that the party was better without us.”
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed that the former trade unionist met with the rebels.
“They had a very fruitful meeting with the president,” Tamborinyoka said.
“I am, however, not sure where that is now coming from. From the record, anyone is welcome to the MDC big tent especially the respected founding members of the party like Chambati.”
Chambati said he still had residual respect for Tsvangirai but said he was worried that the people who surround the former prime minister were “badly” advising him. Daily News