Cape Town – Defiant Movement for Democratic Change Secretary General Tendai Biti has reportedly declared he is the only person now in legal control of the opposition after he staged a daring attempt to oust party leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the weekend.
Infighting in Zimbabwe's main opposition party intensified on Saturday, with a splinter group announcing it had suspended Tsvangirai for violence and violating the party's constitution.
The MDC faction said it also suspended Tsvangirai's deputy Thokozani Khupe, chairperson Lovemore Moyo and four other senior party officials.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Biti wrote in a letter to Parliamentary Speaker Jacob Mudenda that the MDC national council’s decision was final and that Tsvangirai needed a court order to overturn it.
Renewal democratic team
Biti noted the cracks within MDC saying it was clear that the party was now divided between the faction that remained loyal to Tsvangirai and the "renewal democratic team" which supported his ouster.
Biti also claimed his faction remained superior as it included him, the secretary general.
But according to The Herald, Tsvangirai was on Tuesday set to expel all members who instigated his suspension and those that supported the move.
Tsvangirai's supporters remained adamant that the former prime minister was the only party leader, saying the meeting held by Biti and his faction was "a legal nullity".
The decision to fire Biti and his group was taken by the party's nine standing committee members on Monday, the report said.
MDC chaos a blessing for Zanu-PF
A Daily News report said the latest developments in the MDC were a blow to the 15-year-old movement with analysts saying the ongoing chaos was a blessing to President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party.
The analysts described the division as a game where there were no winners or losers, said the report.
The MDC was formed in 1999 by labour and civic groups to end Zanu-PF rule. The party has been rocked by serious divisions for a while but infighting escalated when expelled deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma penned a strongly worded letter asking Tsvangirai to step down as party president.
In his letter, the former energy minister cited the MDC leader's failure to bring about change after three elections. He also said Tsvangirai’s personal life and conduct had soiled the image of the party.