The MDC-T faction led by secretary general Tendai Biti yesterday said it had laid charges against party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his six top liutenants following their suspension at the weekend.
Biti’s faction brushed aside an announcement by Tsvangirai that MDC-T had expelled him and 10 other legislators pushing for his ouster.
“Expelled” MDC-T deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma described the meeting chaired by Tsvangirai that resolved to expel them as illegal as they had already been suspended.
“The (Tsvangirai) meeting was illegal. It was called by suspended people. We urge all MPs who have been recalled to continue their work,” he said.
“The secretary general had already written to Parliament to ensure that they are safe.”
Mangoma said the suspensions of Tsvangirai, his deputy Thokozani Khupe, party national chairman Lovemore Moyo and his deputy, Morgan Komichi, spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abedinico Bhebhe was still in force.
“We have already given them charge sheets.
“We will invite them to appear before a tribunal within the next two weeks,” he said. “Our actions will be guided by the outcome of those tribunals. We cannot pre-empt out actions.”
Tsvangirai yesterday addressed a caucus of MDC–T MPs at Harvest House in Harare where he reportedly explained that the national council took the decision to recall MPs because they defied an order not to attend the meeting which suspended him.
Mwonzora told the MPs that the renewal team had no quorum and their suspension of the party leadership would fail.
He claimed only 33 members of the national executive were present at the April 26 meeting that suspended Tsvangirai and the other officials.
But the renewal team insisted that 138 members attended its Saturday meeting and endorsed Tsvangirai’s suspension.
Tsvangirai’s faction was yesterday still to write to Parliament advising it of the expulsion of the 10 MPs and a senator.
The MPs who may be affected are Biti (Harare East), Solomon Madzore (Dzivaresekwa), Paul Madzore (Glen View South), Moses Manyengavana (Highfield West), Willas Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (Lobengula), Bekithemba Nyathi (Pelandaba-Mpopoma), Evelyn Masaiti (Proportional representation), Watchy Sibanda (Senator Mat. South), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo) and Reggie Moyo (Luveve).
“We are likely to hand deliver our letter demanding the expulsion of the 11 in line with the national council’s resolution by Friday,” Mwonzora said.
Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said the Speaker cannot act in line with section 129 (k) of the Constitution if there was a dispute.
“Whenever there is a dispute the Speaker cannot act and it’s common cause that there is a dispute on who legitimately represents the party,” he said.
Madhuku added: “Section 129 (k) is a stupid provision that should not be part of a democratic constitution.
“How can a person elected by voters some of whom are not members of that party be expelled on the say-so of a political party?”
Another senior lawyer Chris Mhike said the MDC-T legitimacy issue can go either way if it goes to court.