OUTGOING Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday defused a potential split in his MDC-T party when he gave the greenlight to winners of last week’s elections from his party to take part in parliamentary and council business in order to “guard the party’s zones of autonomy”.
Impeccable sources last night said the MDC-T leader met with the Harare Provincial Council of his party where he emphasised the need for peace saying his party would not brook any violence, but a pursue legal means to get justice following the “stolen election”.
According to our sources, the meeting took place at the party headquarters, Harvest House, in the capital where the “participation and peace” pronouncements were made.
Tsvangirai reportedly told the winning candidates to “protect” their victory in parliamentary and council elections while the party continued to fight for the return of the “stolen victory”.
There had been fears of a split within the party’s after its National Council meeting at the weekend resolved that the MDC-T would not participate in all forms of government business.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed yesterday’s meeting, but refused to shed detail on what was discussed.
Sources, however, said the MDC-T leader said his party would not take part in government business including Cabinet.
“There is a huge difference between levels of government and levels of State,” one of the sources said. “Parliament and council are levels of State. The Prime Minister wants us to guard our zones of autonomy in Parliament and councils. We will not be part of Cabinet and parastatals, among other government institutions.”
Another source added: “We have said we are going to defend whatever we have got, that which they did not steal. That will not stop us from the battle to take what they stole from us.”
The sources said Tsvangirai told the party members that they should take part in Parliament and council business and start mobilising the people for the future.
“He set targets for us to work on and said we should go out there and work. He said that under the provincial council, the local authority would have its resources and they should use that to develop the city. He said voter registration had to start now no matter when elections would be held,” said another source.
Tsvangirai said teams would be put in place to evaluate the work of councils.
Tsvangirai last week threatened to disengage from all government institutions following what he called a stolen election.
The MDC-T won 49 out of 210 parliamentary seats. Results for council elections are yet to be announced.