A NEW chapter in the history of opposition politics was opened yesterday when MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his rival MDC Renewal Team secretary-general Tendai Biti ended their acrimony and pledged to reunite and contest the forthcoming by-elections and 2018 harmonised polls as a united party.
The two camps met at Tsvangirai’s Highlands home in Harare where the deal was sealed, with both leaders set to officially announce the pact at Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters, today.
The two former protagonists buried their differences after almost two days of intensive negotiations which were mediated by a top Harare cleric who declined to be named.
“They will announce something tomorrow (today) at Harvest House. All I can tell you now is they had a meeting and the results of the meeting will be announced tomorrow at 9:30am (today),” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said. MDC Renewal spokesperson Jacob Mafume also confirmed the developments, but referred questions to Renewal treasurer-general Elton Mangoma who was not immediately available for comment. “There is a meeting tomorrow at Harvest House and I can confirm the secretary-general (Biti) will attend,” Mafume said without elaborating.
Biti’s negotiating team included Mangoma and former Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya while MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe and national chairman Lovemore Moyo were on Tsvangirai’s side.
The two camps pledged to work together in campaigning to win back the seats that were left vacant following the expulsion from Parliament of 21 members aligned to Biti.
MDC-T insiders said the negotiations were initiated by Tsvangirai’s international advisers during his recent visit to Washington DC. Sources said Tsvangirai was advised to urgently reunite with Biti if he was to remain politically relevant in the next elections.
The sources said the same message was sent to Biti following the recent recall of his legislators from Parliament.