Main opposition party, MDC has dismissed allegations that it forced its Glenview South legislator, Vincent Tsvangirai to retract the statement he recently made in Parliament which implied that the Western-imposed sanctions were causing suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans.
Tsvangirai’s utterances were in stark contrast to the MDC position regarding the matter, in which the party views the sanctions mantra as a ruling party cover up for its failure to manage the deteriorating economy.
This prompted widespread criticism of Tsvangirai among radical MDC loyalists, including on social media leading to the retraction of his statement yesterday afternoon.
Speaking to 263chat, MDC Secretary General, Chalton Hwende said the party does not force its members to say statements against their will and while every member is entitled to their opinion they are expected to do so within the confines of the party.
“In MDC we do not operate like that. That’s the problem that people have. We encourage free will, free expression of opinion, he is entitled to express his opinion but obviously within the confines of the party policies and regulations and people get misquoted everyday by journalists and if they are misquoted on their own will they can clarify whatever could have happened. People must understand his position. It is not the party that clarified,” said Hwende
Tsvangirai misfired when he made comments during the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were hurting ordinary citizens.
“…I am a patriotic person who believes that sanctions do hurt ordinary persons but at the same time making an act like that I believe sometimes you may end up opening citizens to further harm.” said Tsvangirai during the meeting.
He later retracted his statements saying he was misquoted and misconstrued on the issue.
The retraction was met with mixed reactions with many accusing the MDC of forcing the youthful legislator to retract his statements.
Efforts to get a comment from Tsvangirai were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.