MDC-T co-vice president Engineer Elias Mudzuri was yesterday barred from convening a Press conference at Harvest House, the party’s headquarters, as the tussle for control of the party persists.
Both Eng Mudzuri and Advocate Nelson Chamisa are claiming to be the interim leaders of MDC-T as the party’s president, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, battles colon cancer in South Africa.
Eng Mudzuri yesterday had scheduled a Press conference for 2.30pm at Harvest House.
Journalists milled around the entrance of the party’s national headquarters for over an hour after the scheduled time.
They, however, dispersed after being advised by party officials to pick the Press statement at Eng Mudzuri’s Milton Park residence, where he was reportedly locked in meetings with the party’s “elders”.
In the statement, Eng Mudzuri re-affirmed that he was still the acting president of the party.
He accused Adv Chamisa of using unofficial and “dubious” channels like social media to claim leadership of the party.
“These are unofficial channels of communication which we have since confirmed to be fraudulent and patently unknown to MDC-T channels of communication. It’s a stinking conspiracy,” said Eng Mudzuri in his statement.
He threatened to institute disciplinary proceedings.
“For the record, President Morgan Tsvangirai has not tweeted for months because he has not been well, neither does he have access to any communication gadgets at the moment. This is abuse of the highest order,” he said.
Party spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu, who is understood to be backing Mr Mudzuri, declined to comment when asked why there was change of venue.
But sources within the opposition party yesterday said Mr Chamisa had now captured Harvest House.
“Adv Chamisa has indeed captured Harvest House and some youths around it. These are really trying times for the party and from the look of it, these issues were likely going to spill in the courts,” said a source.
The challenges confronting the party, sources said, were likely to be discussed tomorrow during the national council meeting that has been called by Mr Chamisa to ostensibly consolidate his hold on the party.
“He held a party caucus with MPs last week where he threatened them that only those who subject loyalty to him will not be challenged during primary elections. He eventually met provincial chairpersons, where he also warned them to submit themselves to him. Tomorrow (Tuesday) he is meeting the youth assembly before he convenes a national council meeting the following day,” said another source.