|More fireworks at MDC-T|
|Saturday, 14 July 2012 21:47|
Vusumuzi Dube and Walter Sebele
IN-FIGHTING and factionalism that has been rocking the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change Bulawayo province took a new twist with over 1 000 party supporters last week signing a petition to expel Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo from the party.
The members, who were drawn from Makokoba district, barricaded the party’s provincial offices on Friday last week where there was supposed to be a provincial executive meeting, causing commotion and demanding audience from the provincial chairperson Mr Gorden Moyo.
This comes after another senior member of the party, Ms Thabitha Khumalo, was demoted from her position as the deputy spokesperson over the issue of defections.
The petition, which was reportedly signed by 1 233 members, singles out Senator Hlalo as the main cause of the defections that recently hit the party, with the supporters demanding his expulsion.
“He has violated and breached the Real Change Code by fanning factionalism in the constituency. He promoted factionalism by supplying 200 litres of opaque beer which was mounted at E Square Mzilikazi at a house belonging to Ms Nomsa Dube where lobbysts like Dereck Zulu, Simba, Thandekile Moyo were fed and wined to disturb the conduct of the elections on that day.
“These people campaigned for Welshman Ncube in the 2008 elections after which they joined Hlalo’s faction during the run-up to congress, all these defectors were approached and invited to be incorporated in the structures but they turned down our invitation vowing to back Welshman to make sure that the current MP (DPM Thokozani Khupe) and councillor for ward 7 (Councillor James Sithole) are not retained in the next elections,’’ reads part of the petition.
The supporters, who numbered over 300, almost turned violent when Mr Moyo refused to read their petition saying he would accept it only for record purposes.
The supporters then turned on their district chairperson, Clr Sithole, accusing him of allowing the party leadership to protect Senator Hlalo.
“Gorden (Moyo) is forgetting that we made sure that he holds his current position as chairperson, now if he is no longer listening to us. we hope he won’t come campaigning for our votes in the future because we don’t vote for someone who goes on to backstab us.
“We all know that Senator Hlalo is behind these defections and we are saying the party gets rid of him as a matter of urgency as he is just not good for the party. We know that he wants to challenge DPM Khupe to be the MP for Makokoba. we will thus make sure that his exploits are exposed, if it means attracting the national leadership, we will gladly do that,’’ said one of the supporters who only identified herself as Miss Moyo.
Contacted for comment, Senator Hlalo rubbished the ploy by the supporters to pass a vote of no confidence against him saying they were foolish and did not know what they actually wanted.
“That is total foolishness being done by complete fools, those people don’t even know what they are doing, honestly how can I be part of those defections. I won’t waste my time worrying about useless people, signing a useless petition,’’ said Senator Hlalo.
Commenting on the matter, Mr Moyo said as a party they had procedures that were meant to be followed if anyone had a grievance and if these grievances followed the right channels they would have been dealt with accordingly.
“First, I must emphasise that I don’t discuss internal party issues in the media but I must also emphasise that as a party we have our own structures in terms of dealing with grievances, to date I must say I have not officially received any complaint and I must especially emphasise the ‘officially’, we will only act when the necessary channels are followed,’’ said Mr Moyo.
Clr Sithole refused to comment saying he was not allowed to talk to the media.
“I am not mandated to talk to the media, please talk to the chairperson besides, as you might see we have a meeting here so we are a little tied up,’’ he said.
Over 354 members of MDC-T recently defected to the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation citing ill-treatment from the leadership. The majority of these defectors were drawn from Makokoba district.