, HARARE, Jan 27 – A senior member of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change has urged party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to step down, months after a crushing electoral defeat to President Robert Mugabe.
“It is my humble submission that, at this juncture, it is time you consider leaving the office of the president of the movement,” Elton Mangoma, MDC’s deputy treasurer general wrote in a letter to Tsvangirai last week.
“The party is in dire need for new ideas, new thinking, a new trajectory and new stimulus.”
Mangoma, a former Minister of Energy said he personally gave the letter to Tsvangirai in a meeting with other senior officials, but the former premier has not responded to his calls.
The letter was published in the state media Monday.
“I gave the letter to him as a personal advice to him from me. It was not meant for the public,” Mangoma told AFP.
“I gave him the letter in a meeting attended by four of us, we actually agreed that there should be a (party) congress.”
Tsvangirai has led the MDC for 15 years and through three presidential elections.
Many had believed the 2013 election was his last shot at dethroning the shrewd Zimbabwean strongman.
But after the defeat Tsvangirai insisted he would stay on until 2016, scoffing at calls for him to step down as “irresponsible.”
Speaking on Friday he again rejected calls to step down.
“For somebody to suggest that I resign because I went to an election, come on, it was not an individual decision.”
“I want to assure you that the party is united, alive and well.”