Sources said Makone, who is also MDC-T’s women assembly chairperson, was supposed to appear before the committee last week, but the matter was postponed because she had been taken ill. They said Makone violated the party’s constitution when she allegedly handpicked her loyalists for co-option into the party’s national executive without consulting provincial executives.
“Our party constitution says each province must nominate two people that would be co-opted into the national executive, but instead of us doing so, Makone personally nominated them without consulting us,” said a member of the provincial executive.
“We cannot allow her to do that.” MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwo-nzora denied that the issue would be discussed at the party’s standing committee meeting. He said the issue of leadership positions were settled a long time ago.
“There is no issue of imposition of candidates before the standing committee,” Mwonzora said. “There is no disciplinary action against Makone. In any case, the standing committee is not a disciplinary committee.”
But sources insisted that the Makone issue would be discussed by the 12-member standing committee and not any other forum, to avoid leakages to the press that could further widen divisions in the party.
They claimed Makone, regarded as an “Iron Lady” in the party, harbours ambitions and is laying the foundation for a higher post by strategically placing her loyalists in all the provinces. Makone and her husband Ian, are said to be very close to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and at one time bankrolled the party.
Sources said Makone refused to sit in the VIP tent at a rally in Mutare after she was confronted over the issue of imposition of candidates.
A day after the rally, Makone was admitted at a private clinic in Harare with Mwonzora claiming she had suffered a mild stroke.
However, Makone disputed the claims saying instead, she had a history of high blood pressure and had forgotten to take her medicine when she travelled to Mutare for the rally.
On Saturday Mwonzora said: “I regret telling the media that she had suffered a stroke, but that is what I had been made to believe.”
Some senior MDC-T officials have been calling for Makone’s dismissal ever since she accompanied Zanu PF secretary for administration and Minister of Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa to Matapi Police Station when he was searching for his son who had been arrested.
Makone was accused of trying to influence the release of Mutasa’s son. She has since denied the allegations.