The Herald (Harare)

29 March 2014

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Fires Biti Allies, Senior Officials

MDC-T Chitungwiza Province yesterday expelled chairperson Mr Alexio Musundire and other senior officials as infighting continues to rock the party.This is despite claims by party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai that the dust had settled and MDC-T was now more united than ever.

Mr Musundire is understood to be a close ally of MDC-T secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti, who -- along with suspended deputy treasurer Mr Elton Mangoma -- are reportedly at the forefront of engineering Mr Tsvangirai's ouster.

Sources yesterday said Mr Tsvangirai orchestrated Mr Musundire's expulsion.

"The MDC-T Chitungwiza provincial council met and resolved to expel Musundire from the party. The council was convened to discuss his misconduct and the state of the province. Musundire was convicted of five charges.

"These are: contravening the MDC-T rules and regulations by allowing double candidates to represent the party in local government elections in the July 31 (2013 harmonised polls); contravening the MDC-T constitution by allegedly sponsoring, causing or perpetrating violence against other members of the party; violating the MDC-T constitution through sabotaging party programmes and activities, sponsoring factionalism, disunity, and disharmorny in the MDC-T Chitungwiza province; and failing to uphold the constitution and working against MDC-T objectives by collaborating with State security agencies by passing on sensitive and classified MDC-T information", said an official who attended the meeting.

Mr Musundire did not attend yesterday's meeting, chaired by MDC-T Chitungwiza provincial secretary Mr Parirenyatwa Chari, and attended by all representatives from the main, youth and women's wings.

An official only identified as Musumbu takes over from Mr Musundire in an acting capacity.

Also dismissed yesterday were provincial organising secretary Mr Kanisios Makururu, provincial youth chairperson Mr Malvin Mashoko, secretary for youth Mr Tichaona Musakwa and a Mr Taison Ngwenya.

The sources denied that Mr Musundire was axed because he was among those calling for leadership renewal.

"It has nothing to do with Mangoma ... His are purely acts of misconduct and violation of the MDC-T constitution. This is not a restructuring exercise and it has nothing to do with the current talk about leadership renewal", the source said.

Yesterday Mr Musundire said the expulsion was a nullity.

In an interview with The Herald from South Africa, he said: "It is a nullity. We are going to convene a proper provincial executive otherwise we are going to deal with the conveners of that bogus meeting for bringing the name of the party into disrepute."

However, Mr Chari said, "It is true we have booted him (Mr Musundire) out for five charges; namely the fielding of double candidates in the July 2013 council elections in this province, sponsoring violence, causing divisions in the party, and sabotaging the party by working with State security agencies, among other charges.

"We sent papers to the party leadership. We will also give the party chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo the charge sheet on Monday next week."

Recently, Mr Tsvangirai claimed at a media conference that the party's problems were behind it.

"After a frank heart-to-heart session ... I am proud to announce today that we have discussed issues and there is now unprecedented harmony and unity of purpose in the MDC cockpit."

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