Zimbabwe’s Opposition Meets to Bridge Divides, Tsvangirai Says

Officials from Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change party met in the capital, Harare, seeking to bridge divisions in the party after Deputy Treasurer Elton Mangoma was suspended.

“There may appear to be a crisis in the cockpit, but the crisis in the cockpit will be sorted out,” party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said in Harare.

Mangoma’s suspension on March 7 in connection with allegations of irregularities in a fuel deal he oversaw as energy minister in the previous government prompted media speculation, including by the closely held Daily News newspaper, of divisions within the MDC.

Mangoma has called for Tsvangirai to resign from his leadership role in the party, which between 2009 and elections last year shared power with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general and second-ranking official, is due to meet Tsvangirai today to work out differences in the group, he said by phone. “Faith remained in the party’s ability to work as a team,” Biti said.

Reports in the media have “sensationalized and personalized” any challenges facing the party, Promise Mkwananzi, the MDC’s youth leader, said on March 11.

“Disputes and arguments are normal and don’t mean people aren’t still loyal to the MDC,” he said.

A call to Tsvangirai’s mobile phone and office weren’t immediately answered when Bloomberg News sought comment.

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