By Staff Reporter
HARARE – The circus in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) moved another notch with a small faction of the party led by Secretary General Tendai Biti claiming to have suspended party leader Morgan Tsvangirai for allegedly violating the constitution and promoting violence.
The group calling itself MDC Team also claims to have suspended and dissolved the entire standing committee of Tsvangirai, Deputy President Thokozani Khupe, National Chairman Lovemore Moyo, Vice Chairman Morgan Komichi, National Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa, Vice Organising Secretary Abednico Bhebhe, National Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.
Curiously the group did not say anything about Biti’s deputy Tapiwa Mashakada or Theresa Makone, the Women’s Assembly chairperson.
The suspensions were announced by Lobengula MP Samuel Sipepa Nkomo at the Mendel Training Centre in Malborough, 15km away from the MDC-T Harvest House headquarters.
“The first item on our agenda was the re-instatement and in fact rescinding of the so called expulsions of deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma, youth secretary general Promise Mkwananzi, national executive members Last Maengahama and Jacob Mafume,” Nkomo said.
“Those purported suspensions are null and void and the national council has voted against them.
“The MDC national council also resolved today to suspend the following persons, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (president), Thokozani Khupe (deputy president), Lovemore Moyo (national chairman), Morgen Komichi (deputy national chairman), Nelson Chamisa (organising secretary), Abednico Bhebhe (deputy organising secretary) and Douglas Mwonzora (information secretary).”
Nkomo said the national council had recommitted the party to its founding values of “democratic struggle, non-violence and servant leadership”. According to the resolutions by the rebels, the party’s guardian council, headed by Sekai Holland, will now take charge and prepare for an elective congress.
At the Harare meeting, Biti was supported by Youth Assembly chairman Solomon Madzore, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya, Lobengula MP Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, senator Evelyn Masaiti and former Deputy Treasurer General Elton Mangoma and Youth Assembly Secretary General Promise Mkwananzi who were expelled by the MDC-T this month.
But on Biti’s big day he suffered a huge setback as former Organising Secretary and Warren Park MP Elias Mudzuri, Kuwadzana West MP Lucia Matibenga, Chipinge MP Prosper Mutseyami, Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross and Chitungwiza East MP Alexio Musundire all refused to join his faction despite an earlier perception created that all five supported the renewal faction.
On Friday Nehanda Radio reported how Biti was facing a rebellion from several MP’s who supported him but feared losing their seats in parliament because of the split. The decision to suspend Tsvangirai and dissolve the standing committee we have been told is designed to plunge the party into a bruising legal battle over the status of the MP’s and other party issues.
Writing on Facebook, MDC-T National Executive member Chalton Hwende laughed off the purported suspensions saying:
“Of all these people you see here (picture above) only Tendai Biti was elected directly by our congress delegates in 2011. Madzore was seconded by the Youth Assembly, (Samuel) Sipepa Nkomo tried to stand for the Deputy SG post but was rejected by the same congress only managing a paltry 373 votes.
“The rest were serving in the National Executive at the pleasure of the President who is allowed to appoint 10 additional members in the National Executive. How they now claim to have powers to substitute our Congress ndazvishaya ndibatsireiwo!!!!!!,” Hwende queried.
In an indirect dig at Biti, MDC-T Harare Province spokesman Obert Gutu also took to Facebook saying “He needs emergency treatment. This is definitely not the man I have known for the past 28 years or so. I feel pity for him. Can someone out there please help this guy urgently? He is losing it ; completely.”
A senior official in the MDC-T told Nehanda Radio: “The event exhibits political drunkenness and desperation of the greatest order. Surely it can never be acceptable even to the sponsors and few sympathizers of these rebels that they can suspend an entire elected leadership of a party.
“Even their cousins in ZANUPF would never accept the rebels’ circus decision to suspend all but three National Standing Committee Members elected by Congress. The rebels really think that they are larger than Congress and the people who elected this leadership at Babourfields Stadium in May 2011? Surely those the gods want to destroy first make them mad,” he added.
More details as we get them…………