Tsvangirai trained bandits in SA: Coltart

Morgan Tsvangirai

Morgan Tsvangirai

Tichaona Zindoga Harare Bureau
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2006 trained bandits in South Africa in preparation for a violent takeover of power in Zimbabwe, a new book by former MP for Bulawayo South, David Coltart reveals.

In his controversial memoirs, “The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe” Coltart, a founding secretary for legal affairs in the MDC, reveals how the split in the original party came about because of Tsvangirai’s knack for violence.

According to Coltart, Tsvangirai not only engaged in intra-party violence where he used “agents provocateurs” such as one Tonderai Ndira, but sought to escalate violence into a nationwide confrontation with the ruling Zanu-PF.

He said at party level, Tsvangirai had become paranoid as he thought that there were efforts to muscle him out of leadership, especially when the party had proposed during constitutional amendments presented to Parliament that a national President needed to have at least a university degree.

He also felt that the only way he could wrestle power from Zanu-PF was through violence, says Coltart.

It was on this basis that Tsvangirai refused to participate in the re-introduced senatorial elections, causing the split of October 2005.

Coltart says the use of violence, which was meted against officials such as Peter Guhu and Trudy Stevenson resulted in the split the party.

But, it was the training of bandits that shocked Coltart, and which led him to cut ties with Tsvangirai and opted to join the other faction that was then being led by Arthur Mutambara.

He said the training camp for MDC operatives in South Africa was being conducted “by ex-South African policemen under the supervision of an ex-Rhodesian soldier”.

“There was confusion as to whether the training was ‘offensive’ or ‘defensive’ but weapons were clearly involved,” says Coltart. “The South African National Defence Force had been bribed to allow these trained men back across the border,” he said.

Coltart says he had learnt about the development from two journalists who had filmed the training operation.

He concluded that the operation “appeared to be chronically amateurish” and would also play into the hands of the ruling party.

“While I understood the desperation and helplessness that many felt in the face of Zanu-PF’s oppression, this was, in my view, a foolhardy response,” he writes.

“Even if one believed in a violent solution, the training was on such a small scale that it could never mount a serious challenge to Zanu-PF’s hegemony. What it would provide was the ideal excuse to crack down even harder on the MDC.

“The revelation was the final straw. Principle aside, I was unwilling to have any part of an organisation that was prepared to take such risks,” said the Bulawayo lawyer.

He said he wrote a circular to his constituents telling them that MDC-T had “shown no inclination to deal with violence” and he could not join that party.

“All that was left for me to do now was to decide whether to stay in politics and, if so to get assurances from MDC-M that they would root out ‘the scourge of violence’”.

Coltart said Tsvangirai and his party were spoiling for “yet another war” in the country and took the risk to join the smaller MDC faction.

“I would rather lose my seat in Parliament than compromise certain principles, which are fundamental to my belief system,” he said.

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  • magents

    If it’s like that, tsangirai was doing a good thing,because mugabe must be removed one way or the other way

    • Abel Ntakana

      I beg to differ, no one deserves to die just for Tsvangirai to be President. Tsvangirai is a complete idiot that is why he has failed to dislodge ZANU. A supporter of Zanu during gugurahundi, he is no different from ZANU and it’s leaders. No surprise leaders from Mat broke away because they are more mature and more democratic.

      • josefa chinotimba

        It is you and Robert Mugabe who are idiots.The massive killing of innocent souls in Matabeleland was committed by who?Was it a moment of madness?

        Dr Tsvangirai is very right to confront the zanu pf violently.

      • mshaye aze afe

        imbila zantabanye zinjani kant?

      • Khalabemgeza MehlokaMthwakazi

        Stupid people like you just push out their trivial comments all over this platform forgetting to understand that ever since Tsvangirai was the only opposition leader who stood his ground against Mugabe during difficult times and even today he is the only echored opposition who is still standing his ground fighting against Mugabe’s regime, Now for you to waffle and say Tsvangirai failed to dsilodge ZANU PF from power forgetting to understand that ZANU PF had been rigging elections and intimidating voters left and right , for that reason i would say to you watch out and leave Tsvangirai alone .
        ZANU PF will never be dislogued from power by TSVANGIRAI ON HIS OWN people must stand up and do so , didn’t they do so in Egypt ???
        Abel Ntakana —-shut up your pipe , why can’t you open your own party and march to the state house to dislogue Mugabe , do you think you would be so brave to challenge Mugabe like what Tsvangirai did , Zimbaweans must highly appreciated that Tsvangirai himself nutralised ZAUN PF and Mugabe’s venom , today Mugabe doesn’t have teeth to bite opposition parties , that is all Tsvangariai’s work and his strengths.
        Tsvangirai had the right to train his own people , remember that was in 2006 and he was doing preparation for 2008 since he had all the hopes of winning the elections which were rigged by ZAUN PF .
        Coltart must understand the meaning of bandits ,if the trained people were really bandits then they should be even operating today as outlaws to the government of Zimbabwe ,but the training was only done and it was part of the preparation for the transformation of the government , unfortunate that never happend since ZANU PF rigged the elactions , thereafter the trained individuals never operated as well .

        • Abel Ntakana

          Ugcwele umpentsho ekhanda njalo kawulabuntu. How do you fight rigging with violence? You even admit that Tsvangirai’s trained militia failed because of vote rigging. ZANU uses militia to intimidate people to vote in its favour and also rigs elections. Was Tsvangirai also trying to use the same evil tactics? Violence does not make anyone win elections, not in this day and age. ZANU tried in the 80s but they failed to win against Nkomo. They even used violence to make us buy their party cards but we kept on voting for Nkomo. I stand by what Nkomo preached, no violence, only an unpopular leader intimidates people through violence and it doesn’t work.

  • musa

    sizozizwa zonke.

  • the authorities should descend on tsvangirayi and lock up that fool,he failed to participate in the liberation struggle and now wants to topple a democratic govt

    • josefa chinotimba

      To hell,Dr Tsvangirai knows nothing about this issue.Actually it is the zanu pf ZRP that should lock up Mnangagwa for murdering innocent souls in Matabeleland.

      On this one,David has gone mad.I think he needs to be checked if he is still okay in his mind.

      • musa

        so david is right when it comes to crocoduck & wrong when it comes to tvangson? it’s either david is right or he is wrong, why be selective?

        • josefa chinotimba

          You know what,i wanted to buy his book,but after this issue of trying to taint Dr Tsvangirai’s name,i decided not to.

          David is a bloody lier,probably he was promised some hard cash from the sales of bloody diamonds by Zanu pf.

          • musa

            & you know this how? tsvangirai ain’t no saint & i’m glad he never made it to be president, by the way i dislike zanu pf. what i don’t understand is that mdc-t supporters were quick to believe & praise david because he was talking about crocoduck but now that the shoe is on the other foot they are quick to say it’s painful, double standards. this is why the status quo will never change in this country.

          • Zololo

            Musa l admire the way how u observe things not okungoxamu o Jo .

          • MakhosiXamu

            Kambe ngoneni?.

          • MakhosiXamu

            Coltart attacked Mnangagwa and now he is tarnishing MT. Your reasoning is pathetic, shame.

    • musa

      what about crocoduck? should he go unpunished?

  • koka

    no surprises here little tswangilayi is unfortunately not a strategic thinker. he spends most of his time watching cartoon action movies with naked women. he probably thought he can use the same tactics he saw on tv to dislodge zanu. truth be told tswangi is nothing but a street thug that rose to the top due to fear from potential leaders to put up their hands to lead the masses as a result of guguraundi. the man took the opportunity and walaa he now enjoys free sex from women due to his popularity and gamble.

    • mhlathutshekile

      stupid swangirayi, you wanted to kill us too

  • vusumuzi

    Izolo ngilitshelile bantu bakithi ukuthi you must always approach Chronicle news with caution , and ask youreselves about some of its so-called “revelations”. Now this paper is now attempting to compensate for yesterday’s Mngagwagwa ‘ s dids/murders. Nothing here . Only if we read exactly what Coltart wrote and interpret it on our terms , because i can bet , this is not the exact extract but an interprestation by the Chronicle. They say “kutsho ukuthi”. It is a known fact that ZANU geared itself for a possible uprising from the Citizens , and rightly so , since there are no Human Rights except for ZANU . Even ZANU supporters do not have rights as they cannot appoint/elect any person for President !! . The Chronicle has obviously been reprimanded for yesterday’s revelations they believed it was the right thing then. Bra Jotham said izolo Coltart was a Selous Scout , lets wait to see what he says today, since what is here now kuvuna i ZANU yakhe. I close by saying dont be made rumour mongers/ othathawese by Chronicle and READ FOR YOURSELVES THE BOOK. About yesterday s revelations there was no need to go read since we were there then and are the surviving victims.

    • MakhosiXamu

      The Chronicle is not to blame – That Pink thug known as Coltart wrote this article. Now you are offended because the guy has attacked Tshwankilayi iNdebele lako Bulawayo. Your love for the Rhodesians …… Kikikikikiiiiiii. Lundoda uhlanya nje phinde ahambe nqunu.

      • Zuze

        Uyangihlekisa Xamu. You cannot even pronounce your fathers name properly?

      • Top S’gelekeqe

        Akuthule wena Shona Gukurahundi!!

      • Mhlakazanhlansi

        Kengibuze MakhosiXamu … is it not time you sought medical/psychological help kodwa … on your own volition???

        From where I stand the signs and symptoms are worrying … and the prognosis … telling!!

        Usizo is there out there …. please!!

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      But so far u Coltart has not disowned this news item. Who are we to do so?

      • Anonymous

        Moreover, if anyone’s character has been assassinated, let’s wait and see if Tsvangirai would sue.He would just rebuttal through his spokesperson and wouldn’t dare seek legal recourse because it’s probably true.

  • clement moyo

    Political naivety at its best and very bad politics too. Zimbabwe is an unfortunate country madoda. Asazi kodwa sizabelokhesizama.

  • creamsoni

    l suspect it could be true that he trained bandits so that they commit crimes and pretend to be aligned to Zanu so that he gets votes

  • my zanupf

    pfutsek Morgan

  • Mahlaeya

    Mukasekerera benzi richidzana, rinowira muchoto!

    • Yimi Lowo

      Shona lothuvi. Mind your language.

  • Zuze

    I am not related to you Xamu so I am not your uncle. Don’t ninda your dad on me.

  • Teekay

    Coltart could be right.I dnt trust these politicians but i would have never anything that wouldve removed mgodoyi from power violently or anyone!

  • Kezi

    This is getting interesting. Bring the popcorn. Let’s hear Tsvangirai’s response maybe he is going to sue Coltart like Mnangagwa!

  • Semwayo

    Ko vaRungu vakatangarini kuda maZimbabweans zvakadai? Why didn’t he tell the nation in 2006 and waited for 10 YEARS??

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      Akuthule wena!!

    • Yimi Lowo

      Fuseki Shona lothuvi.Respect the Chronicle, mind your your language.

  • josefa chinotimba

    You really need to be checked your mind.You must have gone insane,hey.I really feel sorry for this recalcitrant,bastard.

    All i am saying here is very clear,I condemn the atrocities committed by Zanu pf in Matabeleland,period.And Tsvangirai is right to confront Zanu pf violently because this is the only language Zanu understands,clear.That of you voting for Welshman has got nothing to do with me.I really feel sorry for you that you are still backwards in this modern times,shame.

    You don’t belong here at all,infact i think i should stop commenting on this platform as you are not of my type,i talk to better people and mingle with the intelligent.

    Not grade 7 drop outs like you,smell the coffee,Go back to school.

    • Abel Ntakana

      You are a barbaric idiot that believes in violence. Violence is backward wena tshoba lendwangu. Since when is ZANU a human being that can be said to be responsive to violence. Liyabulalana liphele oTsvangirai bezikholisela labafazi babo. A piece if shit like you won’t even benefit even of Tsvangirai gets into power. Wena ubulawa ligazi labafowethu elacithwa ngoyihlo ngesikhathi segugurawundi. Stop pulling ideas from your backside hole and passing them as novels. You must be suffering from advanced syphilis sibili.

  • Top S’gelekeqe

    Typical Gukurahundi upbringing. Instead of playing the ball you always play the man – very typical Mugabe style. Deal with the issues he is raising by contradicting him with facts silly fool!!

  • Top S’gelekeqe

    Typical Gukurahundi upbringing. Sweeping things under the carpet like you do with Gukurahundi!

  • Top S’gelekeqe

    Wena uli Shona Gukurahundi lase Mondoro!!

  • Abel Ntakana

    The funny thing is that there are people in this day and age who support such barbaric acts.

    • Zuze

      You are right Albert the President needs to change his ways. Degree in violence? What is that.