MDC-T vice-president Elias Mudzuri was yesterday reportedly barred from entering the party headquarters, Harvest House, by youths aligned to his counterpart Nelson Chamisa as the opposition party’s succession fights turned nastier.
Mudzuri intended to address a Press conference to assert his authority as acting MDC-T president, but Chamisa’s backers, who identified themselves as “the Vanguard”, could not allow him to proceed with the media briefing.
The youths turned violent and threatened to beat up Mudzuri, forcing him to leave the party offices in a huff.
The drama occurred as Chamisa, who claimed to have been recently appointed as acting party president, was addressing the MDC-T secretariat.
Presidential spokesperson Luke Tambarinyoka confirmed the meeting between Chamisa and members of staff as the party gears for polls.
“The acting president held a meeting with staff members of the party. I can’t get into the details or dynamics of the meeting because these are internal party matters,” he said, adding he was unaware of Mudzuri’s planned media briefing.
Party spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed that Mudzuri had postponed his Press briefing, but declined to shed further details.
“There was supposed to be a Press conference, but it has been postponed to a later date. I am not yet aware of the reasons,” he said.
Asked why he cancelled his Press conference yesterday, Mudzuri said there were some developments taking place, but would not disclose them.
Hours later, he released a statement reaffirming his position as the party’s acting president.
“When I was appointed acting president, it was done so by president Morgan Tsvangirai openly in the presence of the party presidium and in the full knowledge of the entire national party leadership to ‘act’ until the president’s return,” Mudzuri’s statement read.
He accused Tamborinyoka of bending party rules and unilaterally appointing Chamisa as acting party president without Tsvangirai’s consent.
“It’s criminal to impersonate and mock our president given the situation he is dealing with. That must stop immediately,” he said.
Mudzuri also blamed MDC Alliance partners of interfering in the party’s internal affairs. – NewsDay