Morgan Tsvangirai to Fulfill MDC Leadership Duties Until 2016

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Written by Makula Dunbar

Morgan Tsvangirai, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party leader — and former 2013 presidential election rival of Robert Mugabe — says he will fulfill his duties as the face of MDC-T until 2016. Despite talks of Tsvangirai stepping down from this position, he says he’ll stay and rally for his MDC-T supporters largely in part to his belief that Mugabe stole the election.

SW Radio Africa reported that Tsvangirai said the ZANU-PF party and media outlets have held onto a grudge which stemmed from his outspoken opinions about the election and events that followed.

“If you believe in democratic principles, you use democratic means, which means they’re forums and programs where you put yourself up for election,” Tsvangirai said in the report. “I am not going to step aside because newspapers say you should step aside…because ZANU-PF says you should step aside. Where is that mandate?”

According to SW Radio Africa, during a press conference, Tsvangirai questioned the integrity of those who suggested he “abandon” his seat. Elected in 2006 and 2011, he said there was never an intent to cut his current term short. The topic of leadership renewal, Tsvangirai said, has come prematurely.

‘”There is no sacred issue to debate in the MDC. If there is need for leadership renewal, don’t suppress it, we actually encourage it. But you don’t just walk up in the street and say ‘Tsvangirai must go’. There are processes that should be instituted and there are forums that will make that decision, and one of them is the congress,” he continued.

Though frustrations are apparent, leadership renewal was discussed at recent MDC council meetings. However, according to SW Radio Africa, Tsvangirai was never asked to leave the party.

Still, Tsvangirai revealed his shadow cabinet members, which include current shadow ministers Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti representing Communications and Media and Finance and Economic Development respectively. New shadow ministers include Youth, Sport, Arts & Culture Assembly chairman Solomon Madzore and Lilian Timveos  — the sole female chairperson — who will handle Home Affairs.