FISSURES in the MDC-T worsened this week as the party withdrew the secretary for local government position from Matson Hlalo, whom it plans to expel from the party and withdraw from Parliament.
Hlalo has now been replaced by Mandla Nyathi, whom the party has been trying to accommodate in its upper echelons for a long time without much success.
Deputy national organising secretary Thamsanqa Mahlangu confirmed the changes, saying the party instructed provinces to fill vacant portfolios.
“We instructed them to convene a provincial council, which is responsible for the selection of portfolio secretaries within the provinces,” he explained.
“This programme started soon after the November congress and the exercise includes the election of three national executive members, who will sit in the national executive committee.
“Nyathi may have been one of the lucky ones to fill one of the vacant portfolios.”
Hlalo and MDC-T have been at odds for a while, with the party reportedly contemplating firing him.
Matters got to a head during MDC-T’s provincial congress, where Hlalo accused the party of rigging elections in favour of his rival, Gift Banda.
Hlalo won a court order stating that he was the MDC-T Bulawayo chairman, but the party has since applied for a rescission of the judgment. Nyathi is considered a close confidant of party’s deputy president Thokozani Khupe and was at one time leading the race to become Bulawayo mayor.
He confirmed he had been appointed to take over the portfolio.
“I have been appointed to the portfolio of secretary for local government, which was held by Hlalo in the previous executive,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Hlalo yesterday were fruitless.