Three MDC-T councillors in Chinhoyi have been suspended from the party, pending disciplinary action, following violence that erupted during district elections a fortnight ago.
The three — Nicholas Mutsunge (Ward 2), Owen Charuza (Ward 6) and Damson Mapfumo (Ward 7) — will today appear before a disciplinary tribunal chaired by Eddy Ndiraire at the party’s provincial offices.
Three people were seriously injured during the skirmishes that resulted in the polls being abandoned. The clashes were allegedly caused by deep-seated factionalism in the party’s provincial leadership.
In a letter dated July 16 2011 addressed to the trio, Ndiraire wrote: “This serves to notify you that you are to appear before a disciplinary hearing on the following alleged act(s) of misconduct on the 21st of July at the party’s provincial office.
“It is alleged that on the 9th of July at Chinhoyi Hall during preparations for elections you breached provisions of appendix 3 of the MDC Code of Conduct I (g) ‘engaging in acts of violence including inciting members to commit acts of violence against opponents within and outside the party’.”
The councillors allegedly beat up fellow party members Justin Munyaradzi, Peter Makura and Malvern Chakombera. They also face charges of malicious damage to property.
The district elections that pitted Eddy Kadewere and Martha Mataruse were turned into a boxing match with some members protesting over the latter’s eligibility to stand for the chairperson’s post.
Chinhoyi district is one of the five districts where elections were put on hold due to factionalism which was threatening to tear the party apart.
Officials at the party’s provincial office in Chinhoyi, who requested anonymity, confirmed the scheduled hearing today.
Mataruse is accused of being strongly linked to Zanu PF. Her husband, Peter, once served as an independent mayor before he defected to Zanu PF.