FORMER Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s loyalists were yesterday scrambling to regain control of MDC-T culminating in a vote to expel secretary-general Tendai Biti from the party.
Biti and the renewal team fired the first salvo at the weekend when they announced the suspension of Tsvangirai and six other top leaders for allegedly violating the constitution of the MDC-T. Former deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe, MDC-T chairman Lovemore Moyo, his deputy Morgan Komichi, organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abedinico Bhebhe were also suspended.
However, Tsvangirai hit back yesterday by organising his own national council that expelled Biti and resolved to recall nine MPs from Parliament.
These are Biti (Harare East), Solomon Madzore (Dzivarasekwa), Paul Madzore (Glen View South), Moses Manyengavana (Highfield West), Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (Lobengula), Bekithemba Nyathi (Pelandaba-Mpopoma), Evelyn Masaiti (proportional representation), Watchy Sibanda (Matabeleland South senator) and Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo) and Reggie Moyo (Luveve).
The former trade unionist rubbished their meeting that suspended him as “illegal, unconstitutional, illegitimate and bogus”.
“The national council noted the attempted coup by Biti and others and having formed their own party have ceased to be members of the MDC party,” Tsvangirai told reporters yesterday.
“The national council mandated the leadership of the party to organise an early congress in October to re-energise and transform the organisation.”
The turmoil within the MDC-T is a boost for Mugabe (90) whose Zanu PF party has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980 amid charges of rigging recent elections.
MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora was yesterday arrested for allegedly assaulting a party youth for aligning himself with Biti’s faction.
Mwonzora, who was later released without a charge after spending seven hours in the hands of the police, said on the day in question he was in Masvingo for a rally. He, however, accused the youth, Leonard Dendera of trying to burn down Harvest House.
The allegations were that on Saturday evening, Mwonzora assaulted Dendera, a known MDC-T activist, for aligning himself with Biti’s faction of the MDC-T. Dendera made a report at the First Street Police Post implicating Mwonzora as the one who attacked him.
“I was at Chelsea bar when I got a call from Solo (Solomon Madzore) to meet him at the Holiday Inn and on my way there, l met Mwonzora who assaulted me. They threw me into a truck, but I managed to escape,” he told officers at the Law and Order section in the presence of our sister paper NewsDay journalists.
Mwonzora accused Dendera of trying to burn Harvest House down on Friday evening before he was subdued by security personnel. He said by making a report of assault, Dendera was trying cover up his botched mission.
— Additional reporting by NewsDay and Reuters