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MDC-T infighting: Parly to have final say

SPEAKER of Parliament Jacob Mudenda yesterday said Parliament was now seized with the issue of the MDC-T internal fighting following submissions by the two warring factions in the embattled opposition party.

EVERSON MUSHAVA

Mudenda said he was now studying submissions made by the two factions in the MDC-T; one led by “suspended” MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai and the other headed by “expelled” secretary-general Tendai Biti on the fate of the party’s MP’s in the wake of the leadership wrangles.

This follows a letter by the MDC-T deputy President Thokozani Khupe to Parliament giving notice to withdraw nine MPs implicated in the attempted coup against Tsvangirai.

Khupe’s letter, submitted to Parliament on Friday, claimed that the party had the right to recall the MPs. Biti had already written to Parliament on Monday, advising it of the “leadership change” at MDC-T and seeking protection of the House for the party’s MPs facing ejection due to the infighting.

Mudenda however said he needed time to study the submissions by the two factions. He appeared to suggest that no faction had a clear advantage over the other at the moment.

“The issues have a lot to do with the supreme law of the land,” Mudenda said yesterday. “I am still in the process of studying the submissions from both parties.”

The MPs facing recall are Biti, Harare East; Solomon Madzore, Dzivarasekwa; Paul Madzore, Glen View; Moses Manyengavana, Highfield; Willias Madzimure, Kambuzuma; Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Lobengula; Bekhitemba Nyati, Pelandaba-Mpopoma; Settlement Chikwinya, Mbizo; Reggie Moyo, Luveve; and Evelyn Masaiti and Watchy Sibanda, proportional representation.

Khupe’s letter came after Biti wrote to Mudenda in a “preemptive” move to protect the MPs from recall. Khupe claimed, as the leader of the MDC-T MPs in Parliament, she was the one responsible for recalling the MPs.

The MDC-T is locked in serious internal fights that saw the expulsion of Biti and other party officials calling themselves the Renewal Team for staging a “coup” against Tsvangirai.

Biti, fired deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma and other top officials had on April 26 called a “national council” meeting in Harare and resolved to overturn the suspension imposed on Mangoma and other party officials. They summarily suspended Tsvangirai, Khupe and five other party officials loyal to the former premier.

As the drama continues to unfold, Mwonzora yesterday said the party would go ahead with the recall of the MPs for “staging” an illegal operation to topple the leadership outside congress.

“We stand by our decision and proceed to recall them. Because here we have an outfit of crooks which wants to pull a fast one and upset the leadership that was duly elected at a congress,” Mwonzora said.

But Jacob Mafume, the spokesperson of the Renewal Team dismissed Khupe’s letter to Mudenda claiming it was null and void because it was written by a suspended person.

“The recall has been done by a person [Khupe] who is on suspension. She has no authority to recall the MPs. She was suspended by the national council and she is already violating the terms of her suspension,” Mafume.

Mafume said Biti’s letter to protect the MPs would stand. He said Biti as secretary general had the ultimate authority to give an order, an argument dismissed by Mwonzora as mere fallacy.
Mafume told The Standard yesterday that the MDC-T’s constitution had no clause on recall of MPs but according to Section 129 of the supreme law of the country, MPs can be recalled when they cease to be members of a party.

“In this case, they [the recalled MPs] are still legitimate members of the party. They had been expelled by suspended people. After all, the MDC constitution does not allow for a person to be summarily fired without following due process, which was the case here,” Mafume said, claiming that the national council that suspended Tsvangirai and other officials was properly constituted.

Mwonzora however said the meeting by the Renewal Team was attended by only 33 national council members who do not constitute the two thirds required to suspend someone.

“Of the 195 national council members, 167 have written affidavits disassociating themselves from Biti’s meeting which was also attended by only one guardian council member, Sipepa Nkomo, out of 28 members. It is a legal nullity,” Mwonzora said.

Mafume however maintained that a total of 138 national council members attended and voted for the suspension of Tsvangirai and his top officials, constituting a two thirds majority required for the suspension of the seven.

12 Responses to MDC-T infighting: Parly to have final say

  1. tiktak May 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    i urge the two parties to separate amicablly,they is absolutely no need to recall these mps as it will leave them weaker ,as zanu would simply use its dirty tricks to takeover these seats.that this marriage is over is undoubtable but keeping on fighting, even in the courts would give zanu a big advantage.

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  2. Kidwell May 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Iam not a legal person. I however feel that Mr Buti as a legal expect staged an unintelligent coup? If Biti is the new leader of opposition MDC why then run for the protection of the fired MPs by those whom you have suspended? Do not go to parliament just proceed if you are sure you are correct. Now you realize you are about to go because your coup plot failed you rush for protection from parliament . This is quite fascinating.

  3. chimwango May 4, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Mudenda be fare here if ZanuPf has nothing to do with the fighting in MDC T.But how can Biti suspend leader of the party while he was not at Harvest House the offices of the party.

  4. fatso May 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Biti and Mafume do not have a case. Am not even sure they want to start a party. They are just spoilers singing for their supper

  5. dexter May 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    unotoshaya kuti zvinombofambiswa sei? where is their office of operations. I want to know whether they are still operating from Harvest Hse or they have relocated somewhere in the capital city or provincial cities ( MDC Biti) If they are shouting outside MDC Head Office, shame. Kuri kutonhora pindai mukati kati mutaure murimo

  6. Mike Hove May 5, 2014 at 12:37 am #

    The way I see it, Biti and Mafume have ruined their reputations as professional lawyers. They got what they expected by approaching Parliament first before the mainstream MDC had responded to their illegitimate Council meeting.Having Read Mwonzora’s interview with Nehanda Radio, I am now fully convinced that Biti misfired. I used to attack Obert Gutu and other MDC-T leaders for their posts on facebook pages, but I would have done the same if I was in their shoes – Biti’s back-biting of Tsvangirai had gone on for too long, and a drastic measure such as recalling them from Parliament is the best move to resolve this equation once and for all. Without that they will continue to cause problems claiming an unfair share of the money allocated to political parties etc. Now let them fight it out with MDC-T and Zanu PF to retain the seats so that they get a realistic share of the allocation from the National Budget.

    Their expulsion from the party is justified given that they called for an illegitimate meeting.

    The case comes at a time when Zanu PF is trying to project a professional image, and I am sure the Speaker of Parliament will carefully study the evidence at hand and make a sound, informed decision which, in my opinion, will be to throw Biti and his colleagues out of Parliament.

    The decision will also be good for Zanu PF who may want to use it to experiment on methods of winning seats in the urban areas without use of violence, since the 2018 may be unpredictable if plans to allow polling station based voter registration, and allowing the Zimbabwean living outside the country to vote succeed.

    Kana vaine support, this is their time to show their political muscle and bounce back to parliament, or it the MDC-T claims it is still pupolar, give it the chance to demonstrate that.

  7. Samambwa May 5, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Can somebody help me? When Welshman Ncube and company parted ways with Tsvangirayi,most were quick to label him as a tribalist.What are you going to label Biti and company?.

  8. Observer May 5, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Biti and company are just but sellouts

  9. Itai Henyu May 7, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    I may be wrong, but is this not a case of the mdc sacrificing its children on the alter? anyone remember this?
    http://prophetmaxillarmumo.blogspot.com/2013/08/zimbabwe-if-this-child-sacrifice-is.html

  10. Itai Henyu May 7, 2014 at 2:19 am #

    but also listen to what the lord says about much prayer without good in Isaiah 1:13-17

  11. pambera May 7, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Mr Mundenda,this is the time to get rid of these Western merchants from our Parliament,and guarantee a truely Zanupf parliament.the chickens have come home to roost.kwaaaaa

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