THE MDC-T’s national executive council has expelled Bulawayo Senator Matson Hlalo following what they deemed his relentless fight against what he says is the imposition of Gift Banda as the party’s Bulawayo provincial chairman.
BY SILAS NKALA
MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora yesterday confirmed Hlalo’s dismissal.
He said he had already written to the legislator informing him of the termination of his membership of the main opposition party.
“Yes, it’s correct. He has been expelled,” Mwonzora said.
“Last year, he was advised by the National Council (NC) that we should not resolve party disputes through the courts, as people must exhaust domestic remedies.
He was ordered to withdraw his court cases, but he refused.
“The NC last year then ruled that he be expelled.”
He said Hlalo was advised to defend himself and show why he should not be expelled, but he ignored the instruction.
“He was then found to be in contempt of the NC and was dismissed,” Mwonzora continued.
“The main issue in terms of the law is that any one aggrieved by anything in an organisation must exhaust domestic remedies. If one goes out of this, it’s an offence.”
In his letter to Hlalo dated February 8, 2016, Mwonzora said, at a meeting on October 28, 2015, the NC resolved that Hlalo be expelled from the party.
“You were advised in a letter dated October 29, 2015, of your right to make representations in writing to the NC to show cause why you should not be expelled,” the letter read.
“You chose not to exercise that right. Accordingly, in terms of Article 5:11 of the party constitution, the decision of the NC to expel you stands. This is, therefore, to formally advise you of the termination of your membership of the party.”
Hlalo’s election agent Swithern Chirowodza yesterday lashed out at the party’s secretary-general, saying the real MDC-T should not be been run like “(MDC-T vice-president) Thokozani Khupe and Mwonzora’s tuckshop”.
“The expulsion is a nullity because, among other things, Article 5:13 of the MDC-T constitution states that ‘all expulsions shall be endorsed by congress’,” Chirowodza said.
“To the best of my knowledge, Mwonzora is just an individual. He is not a congress.”
Chirowodza also denied that Hlalo was given a chance to defend himself against expulsion.
“Mwonzora is lying. Hlalo was not given an opportunity to show cause,” he said.
Chirowodza said despite claims that one has to exhaust domestic remedies, the MDC-T constitution stipulates that the opposition party is a corporate body, capable of suing and being sued, hence Hlalo’s action to take matters to the courts was constitutional.
The MDC-T is now expected to inform the President of Senate, Edna Madzongwe, of Hlalo’s expulsion.