The MDC-M led by Deputy Prime Minister Aurthur Mutambara has suspended for 12 months six senior members of the party for causing disharmony and divisions within the party’s ranks and violating its constitution, NewsDay can reveal.
A disciplinary hearing for the six top officials was held in Harare on November 13. Sibongile Mgijima, MDC-M national chairperson for the disciplinary committee, confirmed the suspensions recently.
The officials are Constantine Chipadza, the national chairperson for the youth wing, Shepherd Ndlela, Bulawayo provincial chairperson, Younger Moyo, deputy national chairperson for youth, and Robson Mashiri, the Masvingo provincial chairperson.
The other suspended members include Hilda Sibanda, the national chairperson for the women’s assembly, and Knowledge Tshuma, the national organising secretary for women.
Chipadza was fined $150 on top of the year’s suspension.
The suspension is effective from this month.
Mashiri was also ordered to pay the same amount. Mgijima said Sibanda was facing charges of writing a letter to the media without seeking approval.
“All of them were ordered to write a letter of apology and send it to the secretary-general and to their respective structures such as the youth or women’s league,” Mgijima said. Tshuma was also facing the same charge as Sibanda. “We have suspended her.
Her behaviour during the hearing was inappropriate and rude. She was very defensive. We have decided to set her case aside for another date,” she said.
Mgijima said charges against Moyo, Ndlela and Mashiri were that they attempted to disrupt a party meeting in Bulawayo that was held in order to set up new provincial structures.
“They tried to disrupt the meeting but failed. They then walked out of the meeting and the next day, they appeared in newspapers saying that the meeting was not held procedurally. By so doing, they had violated the party’s constitution. We had no choice but to suspend them,” said Mgijima.
According to the party’s constitution, “the national disciplinary committee may suspend any member of the party of whatsoever rank pending appearance before the national disciplinary committee on misconduct charges”.
Mgijima said Mashiri was suspended for travelling all the way from Masvingo to attend a meeting which he should not have attended in the first place.