The late MDC-Alliance leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, died almost a pauper but could have still died a billionaire if he had sold out the struggle for selfgain, the former Prime Minister’s aide has said. Speaking to Business Times ahead of Tsvangirai’s memorial service scheduled for 4 May, MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu said Tsvangirai put the country first in every move he made.
However, after his death, Gutu says, Zanu PF’s former G40 faction, which was hounded out of both the ruling party and government following the November 2017 military intervention, has now taken over the MDC Alliance.
The party has, however, rejected Gutu’s claims, saying he is a “proxy”.
Tsvangirai succumbed to colon cancer on 14 February last year.
A memorial service has been set for 4 May in Humanikwa village, Buhera.
But Gutu insists: “Look at the polarisation in the country. If Morgan were alive he would put Zimbabwe first,” he told Business Times. “If he wanted to sell out, that man would have died a billionaire I tell you. He died almost a pauper because to him it was never about selling out.”
The former MDC-T spokesperson described Tsvangirai as a unique, charismatic leader who managed to change the complexion of Zimbabwean politics.
Tsvangirai led the MDC to a near Parliamentary majority in 2000 before narrowly winning against Zanu PF’s Robert Mugabe in 2008.
However, he missed State House because he had failed to amass the 50%+1 mandatory mark.
This forced a runoff which Tsvangirai later pulled out of, citing violence against opposition supporters.
Tsvangirai, however, became prime minister during the government of national unity that ruled from February 2009 to July 2013.
“If it was another person he could have given up,” Gutu claims. “Look at the party now without him.
Look at the level of disintegration and internal fights. Under his leadership that would never have happened. If he had contested the 2018 elections, he would have won.
“Now we are looking at a party in internal disarray and taken over by a faction of Zanu PF. G40 is running that party now and if they think Gutu is lying, they can go to court and we will meet in court. Morgan would never have allowed that.”
Several former G40 proponents stood as MDC Alliance candidates in last year’s elecMliswa-Nduna fracas has moved to another level G-40 has taken over MDC-Alliance, says Obert Gutu tions, with Mugabe openly coming out to support Nelson Chamisa, the MDC Alliance leader.
“Look at what is happening now. It is happening because of power,” Gutu says. “We won in 2008 by a wider margin but he climbed down to make Zimbabwe move forward.” Gutu joined forces with the MDCT stalwart, Thokozani Khupe, after Tsvangirai’s death as the fight to succeed him took centre stage.
Khupe now fronts the MDC formation under the banner MDC-T.