Factionalism and infighting that is threatening the survival of MDC-T has reportedly escalated in Bulawayo with provincial executive members moving a motion for the suspension of provincial chairperson Mr Gorden Moyo and secretary Mr Reggie Moyo.
The matter is reportedly set to be discussed during the party’s provincial administrative committee meeting this week.
This comes against the backdrop of reports that the party had embarked on a purge of senior members who are aligned to its secretary general, Mr Tendai Biti, and suspended deputy treasurer general, Mr Elton Mangoma.
The party’s president, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, earlier in the week claimed the dust, that resulted in the suspension of Mangoma, had since settled and MDC-T was now more united than ever.
The two Moyos — Gorden and Reggie — have previously been accused of being aligned to the Biti-Mangoma faction with Gorden going on leave a few days before Mr Tsvangirai was scheduled to visit the province.
According to party sources, the motion to suspend them was moved during a provincial executive meeting last Friday. Senator Matson Hlalo — another known Biti loyalist — is reported to have walked out of the meeting in protest over the motion.
During the meeting, party youths allegedly chanted anti-Gorden Moyo slogans and went on to slash the tyres of Reggie Moyo’s vehicle to show their resentment.
“The meeting was quite volatile with initial attempts to play down factionalism being quashed by members who said those who had been campaigning for Biti and Mangoma should apologise for the conflict they caused.
“Members then moved a motion for the suspension of Gorden and Reggie. Gorden is being accused of not taking party business seriously, this symbolised by his alleged leave. Reggie, in addition to other charges, was accused of misappropriation of funds, with the provincial treasurer, Mrs Nikki Brown reporting that he was bypassing her in the handling of party funds,” said an impeccable party source.
Contacted for comment, the acting provincial chairperson, Ms Dorcas Sibanda, could neither confirm nor deny the suspensions.
“As the acting chairperson my immediate task as assigned by the leadership is to unify the party. We cannot waste our time discussing suspensions because these are non-issues. I should warn any element within the party who think they can destroy the party from within because this will never happen in Bulawayo. We are the party’s stronghold and will continue being the stronghold,” said Ms Sibanda.
She also would not comment on reports that party youths staged a mini-demonstration outside.
“I was chairing the meeting so I don’t even know what was happening outside because we were inside the offices and after the meeting we went straight into our cars so I can’t say what really happened,” she said.
Although Reggie also refused to comment on his suspension, he confirmed that his car’s tyres were slashed by party youths but said he was not moved by “the work of unscrupulous individuals who do not have the party at heart”.
“Yes, two of my tyres were slashed while the third was deflated. This was done while we were in the meeting. I believe this was done by unscrupulous individuals who just want to destroy the party,” he said.
Gorden’s mobile phone was not reachable.
Last week the party’s Chitungwiza province expelled its chairperson Mr Alexio Musundire, who has also been accused of being aligned to the anti-Tsvangirai faction.
Over the past couple of weeks the party has been on a drive to purge any of its members who were believed to be associated with the Biti-Mangoma faction. First to be shown the door was Matabeleland South provincial chairperson, Mr Watchy Sibanda.
The Matabeleland North provincial executive led by chairperson Mr Sengezo Tshabangu was also disbanded for being aligned to the faction.