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Tsvangirai family jumps onto MDC-T factions

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THE family of ailing MDC-T president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai is at war as it has divided itself along the party’s factional lines in a succession war threatening to collapse the opposition movement.

The embattled opposition party was this week thrown into chaos after Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka announced that his boss had appointed Mr Chamisa as party’s acting president.

Mr Chamisa’s reported appointment was quickly dismissed by some senior party officials with MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu on Thursday insisting that Eng Elias Mudzuri was acting president.

Adding into the chaos, Dr Thokozani Khupe declared herself the rightful person to succeed Mr Tsvangirai.

Eng Mudzuri, Mr Chamisa and Dr Khupe are all MDC-T deputy presidents leading rival factions positioning themselves to succeed Mr Tsvangirai.

Yesterday afternoon, Mr Tsvangirai’s son Edwin and daughter-in-law Diana insisted that Eng Mudzuri was still the MDC-T acting president dismissing Mr Tamborinyoka’s announcement as false.

In a twist of events however, Mr Tsvangirai, through his Twitter account dismissed his family saying Mr Tamborinyoka remains the legitimate voice to speak on his behalf.

“None of my family members are in the MDC structures and none of them speak on my behalf or for the party when it comes to the business of MDC- T. I have a spokesperson who speaks on my behalf. Him alone does and no one acts on my behalf when they are not on the ground,” he posted.

According to insiders, Mr Tsvangirai’s family has also been divided along the party’s factional lines with his wife Elizabeth reportedly sympathetic to Mr Chamisa’s faction.

Recently, according to party sources, efforts were made by some family members to deny Mrs Tsvangirai access to her husband in hospital.

Eng Mudzuri travelled to South Africa to meet the MDC-T leader and held an interview with South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) flanked by Edwin and wife Diana who both affirmed his position.

Diana said both the family and politicians have little access to her father-in- law with most of his communication being done through her husband, Edwin.
“It’s unfortunate that there has been information that he has been talking to people but I think collectively as a family with everyone here, we can say he has not been seeing or speaking to anyone at the party,” she said.

“The only person that he says he will communicate via is his son, my husband Edwin and anyone who has not spoken via him is not stating factual information,” she said. Edwin only confirmed that Eng Mudzuri had spoken to his father, saying, “He did engage, they did engage yesterday and today as well.”

Eng Mudzuri said he is the only person in the MDC-T who will be communicating with the ailing leader.

“The president has asked me to come personally to share with him what is happening.

“People are claiming that they have been asked to act outside me, but the president has confirmed that he can only talk to the acting president and no one else.

“That is why I’m here and I talked to him last night and this morning. I left him going for an X-ray,” said Eng Mudzuri.

Eng Mudzuri hinted that Mr Tsvangirai has given him specific instructions on how the party should act in case of any eventualities.

“Should he think otherwise he would invite me again, without anyone sending confusing communication, then he will give the instructions.

“He has already told me steps that we should take to ensure that we bring sanity and make sure that MDC wins the coming elections,” said Eng Mudzuri.

He described his lieutenants in the opposition as too ambitious and angling for the party’s takeover while the leader is still alive.

Efforts to get a comment from both Mr Chamisa and Mr Tamborinyoka were fruitless.

Earlier in the day Mr Chamisa had posted a message on micro blogging site Twitter announcing that he had assumed his duties.

“In my capacity as the Acting President of the people’s party of excellence, I’ve pressed the reset button as we set the party for election preparedness, policy articulation & dealing with all hygiene issues. I’ve just met with parly caucus & all the 12 provinces. We’re clear and focused!” posted Mr Chamisa.

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