3 MDC-T councillors face expulsion
THE MDC-T has summoned three Bulawayo councillors to a disciplinary hearing that could lead to their expulsion as factionalism continues to tear the embattled opposition party apart.
The three affected councillors are Gladys Masuku, Lot Siziba and Sithabile Mataga. They are set to appear before a disciplinary tribunal on a date to be announced by the party.
MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairperson Mr Gift Banda yesterday confirmed the developments but declined to shed light on the allegations levelled against the three.
“We are not going to pre-empt the disciplinary hearing, people are going to go to the hearing and the verdict shall be communicated afterwards,” he said.
Insiders said the three are accused of not working with party structures and in the case of Clr Mataga, there are suspicions that she is working with the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party.
“In fact in the case of Mataga, we understand that the party will be writing to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere to recall her from the local authority over suspicions that she is working with Biti’s party,” said an insider.
“The other two councillors are alleged to have been shunning party programmes and not reporting to party structures on their activities. They are accused of working alone and negatively affecting the party.”
A letter written to one of the councillors accused the three of working with the Veteran Activists Association (VAA) linked to one of the MDC-T vice presidents Mr Nelson Chamisa.
Mr Chamisa and fellow vice president Ms Khupe are reportedly leading factions involved in a bitter tussle to succeed their ailing leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.
“This is a factional fight, as you know Bulawayo province is aligned to MaKhupe and there is an ongoing persecution of all those suspected to be allies of Chamisa. This is an exercise to weed out Chamisa allies from the province,” said a source.
“Again in the case of Siziba, there is suspicion from some Khupe allies that he may have leaked information to a local non-governmental organisation about the corrupt and irregular acquisition of property by councillors — the very issue that got five councillors suspended by the Government.”
Last month, Mr Tsvangirai said the party would be instituting investigations into allegations of corruption that led to the suspension of the five councillors.
This was after Cde Kasukuwere suspended Mr Gift Banda, who is also Deputy Mayor together with Clrs Charles Moyo (Ward nine), Mzama Dube (Ward 25), Reuben Matengu (Ward 21) and James Sithole (Ward Seven) over a raft of allegations involving underhand dealings and rampant corruption.
After the suspensions, the Chamisa-led faction reportedly tried to take advantage of the suspensions to call for the expulsion of the councillors, especially Mr Banda, viewed as a key ally of Ms Khupe.