The MDC  national executive committee meeting had to be abandoned after members boycotted in anger over attempts to expel deputy president Elias Mudzuri.

Sources told Newsday that the meeting was then moved to Saturday where it was held concurrently with the national council.

“The agenda was to fire Mudzuri, but this failed because members of the national executive stayed away. In fact, at the time the meeting was supposed to start only one member outside the standing committee, Gilbert Shoko from Bulawayo, was there.

“The national council itself had problems with numbers, because we had to rely on apologies to get a quorum. Still, the open hostility towards the push for Mudzuri’s ouster was so real that the issue was never brought for a vote in the national council.”

Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume, however, denied Mudzuri’s issue was ever on the agenda.

“Yes, we moved the national executive meeting to Saturday and held it at the same time as the national council, but not because of numbers. The standing committee meeting held on Friday took too long, and we wanted to allow people to attend the presidential Christmas dinner.

“The Mudzuri issue is a footnote in the greater scheme of things. Zimbabweans are struggling to make ends meet. They don’t know what tomorrow may bring, and we cannot, as a party that has people at heart, be transfixed with one person.

“The issue about vice-president Mudzuri is between him and his principal, the president. It is the president who is dealing with it, and he has told the party that he needs to give the vice-president time to explain himself.”