ACTING MDC-T president Dr Thokozani Khupe has suspended the party’s secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora for alleged electoral malpractice following the party’s sham extra-ordinary congress held in Harare on Sunday.
MDC-T held an extraordinary congress to elect a president to replace the late Mr Morgan Tsvangirai who died in 2018.
Violence erupted during the congress as presidential candidates Dr Khupe, Engineer Elias Mudzuri and Mr Morgen Komichi walked out of the congress accusing Mr Mwonzora of electoral fraud.
They also blamed him for the violence that erupted following the chaotic election which resulted in one of the party’s members slapping Dr Khupe in front of camera.
The video footage on the violence scenes have since gone viral.
Mr Mwonzora was declared the new MDC-T president but not before Dr Khupe suspended him as the party’s Secretary General.
“Following the recent developments in which you have been involved in a fraudulent activity regarding electoral processes of the MDC-T Extra Ordinary Congress, instituting violence to our members and election agents as well as non-procedural withdrawal of party funds, you acted in a manner inconsistent with express or implied conditions of your membership of the party, thereby putting the name of the party into serious disrepute,” said Dr Khupe, in a letter to Mr Mwonzora.
“Accordingly, in terms of clause 9.1. 2.3 of the constitution of the party, you are hereby suspended from your position as Secretary General of the party. During the period of your suspension, you shall not perform any duties as Secretary General. Also note that during the period of your suspension you shall not visit party offices.”
According to the section 9.1. 2.3 of the MDC-T constitution, the party’s president can invoke his or her powers to suspend a party official pending investigation and disciplinary action over alleged misconduct.
In a telephone interview, one of the MDC-T aspiring candidates Eng Mudzuri defended Dr Khupe saying Mr Mwonzora should account for his actions.
“This should have happened earlier; I don’t have to challenge it because there is a section in the constitution that allows her to do so. I don’t want to see more splits, more fights but people must also be brought to account. Because this was like an end game, this is like a coup,” said Eng Mudzuri.
He said MDC-T has become a dead brand as a result of the chaotic scenes that rocked the party in the recent past.
Eng Mudzuri said MDC-T has become more transparent in failure and it would be difficult to convince any outsider to join the fading opposition movement.
“We have killed it (MDC-T). I don’t know whether we would be able to revive it. Even in the public, I don’t know who would accept us. I think we have a challenge where people accept wrong things for the sake of saying let’s move forward. But moving forward with people almost committing murder to rig an election, where does it get us? Will people join us? I don’t want to fight but I want to understand organisationally, who would accept us,” said Eng Mudzuri.
He said the chaotic scenes that marred their congress could have been avoided if party members had acted much earlier as he had already raised concerns over some of the congress irregularities.
Eng Mudzuri said if other candidates accept the outcome of the election, they would be accomplices in the rigging scheme as the process could not pass a litmus test.
“I think the journalists observed the V11s (evidence) of what was happening. It’s not for me to say what happened but I can’t accept that result. Whatever result it is I can’t accept, I left on the third province because we were not given the voters’ roll that we agreed.
There was a lot that happened in the effort to rig the election. So, some of us never planned for evil so we didn’t know how to counter it because we are now candidates and told to shut our mouths,” said Eng Mudzuri.
“Whatever happens from here Douglas has to make up his mind and talk to people and stop what he knows he did.
We can’t gang against an individual except that what happened there was wrong for any institution to accept.”
Contacted for comment, Mr Mwonzora requested to be contacted after five minutes.
His number was no longer reachable after the time and repeated efforts to get hold of him were fruitless.