MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday reportedly gave the Bulawayo provincial executive the go-ahead to suspend chairperson Gorden Moyo after a botched attempt to kick him out at the weekend.
Moyo was one of Tsvangirai’s fiercest loyalists during the time of the inclusive government after he was given a ministerial post ahead of veteran MDC-T members.
During the 2008 elections, Moyo was head of Bulawayo Agenda and a vital link to civil society for Tsvangirai leading to his surprise appointment to the government.
He was initially appointed minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office before he was shunted to the State Enterprises and Parastatals portfolio.
The dramatic fallout could see Moyo losing his Makokoba seat following Tsvangirai’s move to kick out MPs linked to secretary-general Tendai Biti’s renewal agenda.
In March Moyo took a sabbatical from MDC-T duties and this was interpreted as a snub on Tsvangirai, sparking calls for his ouster.
However, MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe on Saturday thwarted attempts to suspend Moyo during a meeting by the provincial executive.
MDC-T Bulawayo provincial organising secretary Albert Mhlanga yesterday said Tsvangirai gave them the go-ahead to suspend Moyo.
Mhlanga was among officials who accompanied Tsvangirai to the Avenues Clinic yesterday to see party members who were allegedly assaulted by suspected Zanu PF activists after a rally in Epworth on Sunday.
Mhlanga said he had since communicated the suspension to Moyo and a disciplinary process would now follow.
“It wasn’t an endorsement. We got a go-ahead to do our job. It is our duty to suspend him, it’s only that Khupe had intervened,” the Pumula MP said.
“He (Tsvangirai) said it was a normal process that does not need the blessing from the national council.”
Mhlanga said they would hold another meeting on Friday to formalise and announce the suspension to fellow party members.
“We have suspended him. He (Moyo) is suspended as I speak. He knows. I even called him today and notified him of the suspension,” he said.
“On Saturday, when Khupe intervened, we had already suspended Moyo and waiting to hear responses from members.
“He will come for a hearing to answer to charges levelled against him.
“If he is not guilty he will be retained as chairperson. If he is not, then he will step down.
“We will write a letter that will be delivered to him.”
Mhlanga said allegations against Moyo were that he went on leave without notifying the province.
He said when chaos erupted in the party, the Makokoba legislator did not make any attempt to diffuse the situation.
“The suspension is from his position as party provincial chairperson. With regards the letter written from Makokoba, the hearing has to be done on the initial allegations first,” Mhlanga said.
“If found guilty a recommendation would be sent to the national executive to determine whether he is recalled as Makokoba legislator.”
In a sign of emerging cracks within the pro-Tsvangirai group in Bulawayo, insiders said Khupe wanted her ally Dorcas Sibanda to remain acting provincial chairperson.
Other party members reportedly want Mhlanga to take over from Moyo.