Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is mulling disciplining former co-minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa, recently redeployed to a less influential post in a shock Cabinet reshuffle, for scuttling a restructuring exercise the MDC-T is undergoing ahead of possible elections next year.
Mutsekwa, who took over from Fidelis Mhashu, the former Minister of Housing sacked for non-performance, will be dragged before a disciplinary hearing alongside Prosper Mutseyami, the MDC-T provincial organising secretary in Manicaland, on allegations of disrupting the party by creating parallel structures in Mutare.
He is also alleged to have sent rowdy youths to disrupt MDC-T programmes in the eastern border city.
Tapiwa Mashakada, the newly appointed Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion who doubles up as the party’s deputy secretary-general, yesterday confirmed the latest development saying the decision to rein in Mutsekwa and Mutseyami was made by the party’s national council.
“They are going to appear before a disciplinary hearing any time soon,” Mashakada said. “The decision was made by the national council of the party.”
Mutsekwa, the lawmaker for Dangamvura-Chikanga, reportedly created his own structures out of fear that the process conducted by the provincial executive was calculated to push him out of his constituency come primary election time.
Only members of district committees participate at the primaries. Mutseyami is the legislator for Musikavanhu.
Mutsekwa recently denied knowledge of the disciplinary action saying: “Mashakada is not the party. Spare me from these petty issues. I have more national issues to attend to. Mashakada can say whatever he wants.”
Mutsekwa is also alleged to have disrespected Mashakada and Elias Mudzuri, the party’s national organising secretary, during the visit to Manicaland.
“When the deputy secretary-general came to do gap-filling, he mobilised thugs to disrupt the process and he continued to show disrespect for the members of the standing committee, the deputy secretary-general and Mudzuri,” said Patrick Chitaka, the MDC-T chairman for Manicaland.
“Mutsekwa referred to the deputy secretary-general in denigrating terms even in the presence of the president (Tsvangirai). He declared in front of the president that he will never take instructions from Mudzuri.”
Chitaka said a meeting called by Chitaka at the party’s provincial offices in Mutare was aborted after a rival group reportedly linked to Mutsekwa and Mutseyami descended on the venue, ostensibly to hold a constitution consultative meeting.
“Such conduct makes members of the party hold a very low opinion of him,” Chitaka said.
He said Mutseyami was in soup for disrupting the party’s restructuring exercise in Mutare South and Chipinge.
Chitaka said two youth members who allegedly worked with Mutsekwa and Mutseyami have since been suspended from the party.
Dennis Simango, provincial youth organising secretary and Lloyd Mahute, the provincial youth secretary, were suspended two weeks ago.
MDC-T sources said the decision was made following recommendations by a three-member team comprising Tichaona Mudzingwa, Cephas Makuyana and Edmore Marima set up to investigate Mutsekwa’s alleged misconduct.
The development comes at a time when reports of internecine fighting within Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party have become common in newspaper headlines.