Tsvangirai in ‘closed-door meeting’ with UK branch officials
By Nomalanga Moyo
MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai is set to hold a closed-door meeting with his party’s UK branch office bearers this Saturday.
This is Tsvangirai’s first post-election visit to the UK and, according to Tonderai Samanyanga, chairman of the local chapter of the MDC-T, the party leader will use this opportunity to brief structures about what transpired in the election.
Announcing the meeting, set for 10.30 am at Croydon Conference Centre in London, Samanyanga said: “All the elected executive members of branches, districts and province, including their women and youth assembly executives, are invited.
“Please note that the national organising secretary was not able to travel to the UK on this occasion. As a result this meeting will be a closed door meeting of structures with the President and only the above mentioned members will be allowed to attend,” the announcement added.
However, this has not gone down well with some sections of the MDC-T UK members, who are “furious after they were effectively barred from meeting” Tsvangirai, online news source NewsDzeZimbabwe reported Friday.
But Samanyanga dismissed allegations that some members had been sidelined from Saturday’s event, saying: “The President will give the structures feedback on the party’s electoral experiences, the challenges facing the party, as well as gather contributions and discussions from them.”
He said there was nothing wrong with limiting attendance at Saturday’s meeting to office bearers only. He said even in Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai had so far concentrated on meeting only the leadership in the provinces he has so far visited.
“I know people are keen to hear from the President himself. But due to time constraints we could not turn this into an open event. We can always arrange a rally at a later date so that all members can get to hear from the leadership what is happening in the party.
“You’ve got to understand that as a political party we have processes and so if it’s a leadership meeting, it’s a leadership meeting. I would like to assure anyone who may be feeling sidelined that we are working on inviting the party leadership to address everyone.
“However, I am confident that the executive members who have been invited on Saturday will give adequate feedback following the meeting with President Tsvangirai,” said Samanyanga.
Tsvangirai is in the UK as part of a contingent of African dignitaries invited to speak at Oxford University’s African Studies Seminar, which was held Thursday.
The MDC-T president’s talk focused on Zimbabwe’s the controversial diamond mining sector, widely believed to have resourced ZANU PF’s parallel administration during the coalition government, as well as funding the regime’s poll-rigging machinery.
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