MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday ruthlessly dealt with intra-party violence, suspending party national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe, but kept deputy treasurer-general Charlton Hwende on tenterhooks, NewsDay Weekender has learnt.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
This followed chaotic scenes that led to the bashing of the party’s vice-president Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo and Bhebhe by party youths in Bulawayo on allegations of sabotaging Tsvangirai’s bid to form an opposition alliance to fight President Robert Mugabe in next year’s general elections.
Hwende was early this month suspended together with party deputy national spokesperson and Bulawayo East MP Thabitha Khumalo on allegations of inciting intra-party violence.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, in a statement yesterday after a three-hour party extraordinary national executive meeting, said the executive had resolved to impose a double tragedy on Bhebhe by suspending the organising secretary.
The party also decided to absolve Khumalo and reinstated her to her position.
“That the national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe be suspended forthwith following the probe team’s findings that he made statements to the Press that put the party into disrepute. His matter has also been duly referred to the national council for disciplinary action to commence in line with the party constitution,” Tamborinyoka said.
“Deputy treasurer-general Charlton Hwende remains suspended following the findings of the probe team that he made inflammatory statements before the disturbances. His matter has been referred to the national council for disciplinary action against him to commence in line with the party constitution.
“. . . that suspended deputy national spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo be reinstated to her position following her exoneration from any involvement in the matter by the internal probe team. She has been reinstated to her position with immediate effect . . . That all the youths who were involved, including deputy national youth chairperson Shakespeare Mukoyi, remain suspended. Their matter has been referred to the disciplinary committee in line with the party’s constitution.”
Tamborinyoka also said: “The executive restated the party’s aversion to violence and resolved that the party will continue to take stern and decisive action on anyone implicated in violence.”
Khupe, Moyo and Bhebhe were assaulted a day after Tsvangirai signed the MDC Alliance pact with six opposition parties at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare, an event the trio reportedly snubbed.
Tsvangirai responded by suspending Hwende, Khumalo and three youth leaders who were involved in the fracas, among them Mukoyi.
Bhebhe’s phone was not reachable yesterday.
Khupe and other party members in Matabeleland were reportedly opposed to the coalition, arguing there was no need to enter into an alliance for Matabeleland seats, where the MDC-T has dominated since its formation in 1999.