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Don Chigumba – MDC implosion: #Tsvangirai family and three VPs to blame

By Don Chigumba

In one of my previous articles, I argued that criminal elements around Morgan Tsvangirai were likely to destroy the MDC-T party because of their greed for power.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai appointed Advocate Nelson Chamisa and Engineer Elias Mudzuri as party co-vice presidents
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai appointed Advocate Nelson Chamisa and Engineer Elias Mudzuri as party co-vice presidents

Tsvangirai made a mistake by appointing 3 vice presidents with equal powers, his move was challenged by quite a number of MDC-T supporters but there was no one to listen to them. This piece therefore seeks to support the view that the collapse of MDC-T party is inevitable if the sickness of Tsvangirai persists,  that the legacy of Tsvangirai is at stake because of his family members and 3 VPs.

Just like the former president Mugabe, Mr. Tsvangirai failed to decentralize the powers of decision making to the organs of the MDC-T party. He has been the only man running the party, a move that is now backfiring. Dictatorship has got its own shortfall, that is why former president Mugabe was miraculously pushed away from  the ZANU-PF steering. Tsvangirai is also likely to suffer the same fate because he failed to install discipline in his party and family too.

Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka is causing a serious damage to MDC-T and its glue. He doesn’t know that he is a spokesperson of a presidential office and not an individual. If anyone is asked to act in place of president Tsvangirai, Tamborinyoka should respect that person as Tsvangirai.

The confrontation between Chamisa and Mudzuri was because of Tamborinyoka’s insubordination. If he was able to handle his duties fairly, Mudzuri and Chamisa’s conflict could have been avoided.

What Mr. Tamborinyoka, Mudzuri, Chamisa and Tsvangirai family should know is that the dictatorship of appointing leaders in MDC-T has gone with Mugabe’s exit. The party members have a  duty to appoint their leaders. Do not waste party funds flying to South Africa to disturb the sick Tsvangirai, why can’t you give him time to rest? I was shocked to see a video of one of the Vice Presidents addressing the media around the compound of the hospital, that was disrespectful to the sick president Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai was embarrassed again during a Chitungwiza rally by Mudzuri and Chamisa, fighting for a podium was uncalled for and we are told that Tsvangirai’s health condition worsened thereafter. Please, for those close to Chamisa and Mudzuri, call them to order, they need to respect Tsvangirai’s health at this hour. Why taking party problems and squabbles to a sick person?

There is also a clear evidence that cracks exist within the Tsvangirai family and between MDC-T and Tsvangirai family. The members of the MDC-T party have powers to appoint their leaders and not families of individuals. What both camps should know is that, Tsvangirai is the father of the nation and has to be treated with collective care.

The family of Tsvangirai and MDC-T party should speak with one voice but we are hearing four voices, a situation that will make the party to collapse and erode the legacy of Tsvangirai.

I was shocked to listen to a video of Tsvangirai family members while addressing the media in South Africa. I saw Collins, Diana and her husband among others, but Elizabeth (the wife of Tsvangirai) was absent and no apology was given for her non appearance. That forced me to conclude that division within the Tsvangirai family cannot be ruled out. If you listen closely Diana declared, she was going to speak on behalf of the family together with her husband Edwin. Elizabeth the wife of the MDC-T president seemed to have been left out by her daughter in law.

The Tsvangirai family should learn from Nelson Mandela case, and solve their family differences behind the closed doors. Conflicts are always inherent in families but the greatness of a family is reflected by the way they solve their differences. It can be unfair for the Tsvangirai family to stop MDC-T members from visiting their dear leader.

Tsvangirai’s family and the MDC-leadership should come together during this hour and speak with one voice. I can now doubt the leadership credentials of Khupe, Chamisa and Mudzuri in leading the entire country if they are failing to resolve such minor conflicts. We may fail to get a serious leader if we are to choose from the 3 confused and power hungry VPs.


The three MDC-T Vice Presidents should swallow their pride and agree to meet for an unconditional meeting so that they can iron out their differences before going to liaise with Tsvangirai family. They should call for a National Council meeting thereafter.

Tamborinyoka should accept that he is the spokesperson of the office of the president and not an individual Tsvangirai.

The MDC- T National Council should be called for a meeting in order to resolve their differences and all leaders should be warned against campaigning for Tsvangirai’s position when he is still in charge. Top leadership should be educated that power is given by the people and not by Tsvangirai.

If there is no reconciliation among the MDC-T vice presidents, we should brace for the collapse of the party of the majority of Zimbabweans and the legacy of Tsvangirai will definitely suffer a blow. ZANU-PF should be praying for the worst.

Don Chigumba is a mixed methods research specialist based in South Africa