MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti has cracked the whip in Manicaland, reprimanding six MPs and a senator alongside 37 other senior party members in the province, in an effort to contain a potential split of the provincial executive.
The 45 party members were reprimanded for allegedly fanning divisions in the eastern province by forming parallel structures, the party national leadership said was illegal.
The MPs affected are David Chimhini (Nyanga North), Webber Chinyadza (Makoni West), Trevor Saruwaka (Mutasa Central), Willard Chimbetete (Nyanga South), Tangwara Matimba (Buhera Central) and Naison Nemadziva (Buhera South).
Nyanga-Mutasa Senator Patrick Chitaka has also been reprimanded together with eight district chairpersons and eight councillors.
It is understood on July 1, the group conducted a meeting at Jopa Construction in Mutare where they allegedly strategised on how to topple the province’s elected leadership.
However, Biti accused them of being “pitiful losers”.
Part of Biti’s letter to the officials read in part:
“. . . to express its (the party’s) disappointment with the meeting that took place at Jopa Construction on July 1 2011, all of you are hereby reprimanded and reproached forthwith and are further warned against participating in illegal meetings, organising, inciting, plotting, executing or implementing any programmes of factionalism, division and hatred.”
The group is also said to be stirring factionalism by inciting party supporters to disregard the current provincial executive.
Biti added while people might have differed in their choices of candidates for the party’s third national congress in Bulawayo in May this year, it was no longer an excuse for maintaining and reproducing their divisions.
The disgruntled group is said to be holding a series of meetings in the province to promote their endeavours contrary to the party’s position.
Chitaka, who is believed to be the leader of the group, could not be reached for comment.