Tsvangirai's aide says MDC party to 'deal with with leadership squabbles'

Cape Town – Acting Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Nelson Chamisa, says he has called for an an extra ordinary executive and council meeting on Thursday to deal with the power struggles that have hit the party since he was "appointed" interim leader last week.

Chamisa is one of Morgan Tsvangirai's three deputies. 

In an interview with News24, Chamisa maintained that there were no rifts within the MDC, despite reports that two of his co-deputy presidents abstained from the party's executive meeting on Tuesday. 

"There are no rifts in the party. The party has a constitution and is going to resolve these issues once and for all on Thursday.

"President Tsvangirai has his office, and every party decision taken by him is communicated through his office and not through claims of word of mouth, said Chamisa. 

Reports in recent days indicated that the southern African country's main opposition was embroiled in a power struggle over who was in charge of the party months before key elections, as Tsvangirai received cancer treatment in hospital.

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Chamisa and Elias Mudziri, who were both vice presidents of the MDC clashed openly over who was acting leader while Tsvangirai underwent chemotherapy at Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg.

Both Chamisa, 40, and Mudzuri, 60, claimed on social media to be in charge as the party prepared to take on the ruling Zanu-PF in the first polls since Robert Mugabe's fall.

The crisis widened after Tsvangirai's family also weighed in, supporting Mudzuri as the acting leader of the party.   

According to an SABC news report, Tsvangirai’s family said that Mudzuri was in charge of the party. 

But in an interview with News24, Chamisa said that although he "respected" the veteran politician's family, it was unfortunate that they were "not privy to party decisions" as they were structures within the MDC to do that. 

Thokozani Khupe, the third MDC vice president, has boycotted recent party meetings.

Tsvangirai's spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka last week described the power struggles in the party "needless and unnecessary".

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