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Full text of MDC disciplinary committee letter expelling Tsvangirai

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This is the full text of a determination by the MDC's disciplinary committee expelling party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai

22 December 2005

M. Tsvangirai



Dear Sir


Please be advised that the MDC National Disciplinary Committee as advised in the letter to you dated 14 December sat at St. Lucia Park, Malborough, Harare on 20 December 2005.

As you failed to avail yourself for the hearing, the Committee therefore deliberated over charges of misconduct preferred against you in terms of the MDC constitution as advised to you in a letter from the Vice President dated 24 November 2005. For the record you were charged as follows:

u On the 12th of October 2005 the MDC National Council resolved by a vote of 33 to 31 that the party will participate in the senate elections scheduled for 26th of November 2005, and contrary to that decision you went on to falsely announce that the MDC National Council had, at its meeting of 12 October 2005, been split 50:50 and that you had broken the deadlock by using your casting vote. By so doing you acted in willful violation of clauses 4.4(a), 6.1.1(a) and (d) of the MDC Constitution as well as clause 9.2 of the Party’s Disciplinary Code of Conduct

u Following your press announcement reflecting the decision of the National Council you went on to act in further violation of the above said clauses of the party’s constitution and Code of Conduct by:

(a) Writing to all party provincial chairpersons on 13th October 2005 instructing them to ignore a letter written by Party’s Deputy Secretary General instructing provinces to commence selectivity of candidates.

(b) Writing to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on 14th October 2005 falsely advising that the MDC had resolved not to participate in the senate elections and calling upon the Commission to register as independents all MDC candidates that would offer themselves to contest the election.

(c) Addressing numerous rallies and meetings in various places throughout Zimbabwe urging members and supporters of the party to boycott the senate elections, contrary to the resolution of the National Council.

u Instructing the party secretariat to re-employ Nhamo Musekiwa and Washington Gaga after they had been dismissed pursuant to a National Council resolution. In so doing, you acted in violation of a standing resolution of the National Council contrary to clauses 4.4(a) 6.1.1(d) of the party’s constitution.

The National Disciplinary Committee deliberated as follows:

On Charge 1

1. The Disciplinary Committee noted that it was common cause that the National Council held a meeting on 12 October 2005 at which meeting the council voted 33 to 31 with 2 spoilt papers in favour of participation in the senate elections. The minutes of that meeting were produced and they confirmed that a resolution was made by the MDC National Council that the MDC would participate in the Senate Elections. The Committee was satisfied through its reading of the Constitution and was left in no doubt that the National Council is the supreme policy making body of the MDC in between congresses. The Committee was in no doubt that the National Council is the democratic organ of the party through which major policy decisions are made by the party in between Congresses and Annual National Conferences.

2. The Committee noted that having made a democratic decision to participate in the elections, every member of the National Council including those who voted against participation were bound by the decision. And therefore the verdict to participate in the election became the verdict of that National Council as a whole. Your conduct of defying the resolution immediately after the vote was a breach of the constitution of the MDC in that you chose not to be bound by the National Council resolution. Your actions immediately after your pronouncements to Council clearly demonstrated that: - not only were you going to defy the National Council resolution, but that you were gong to act against the it.

3. The Committee found you called a press conference at your Strathaven house where you issued a press statement in which you claimed that the National Council had been deadlocked 50:50 over whether or not to participate in the senate elections and that you then used your casting vote to break the deadlock. It is the finding of the Committee that this claim was a brazen lie which brought the name of the party into disrepute in that a party with a president who is an unashamed liar suffers the indignity of being led by a liar. In making this brazen lie, the Committee found that you violated clause 9.2 of the MDC Code of Conduct which requires all members and office bearers to “conduct themselves with the highest standards of personal integrity and honour and shall not involve themselves in dishonourable conduct”. The Committee further found that the defiance of the council resolution was also a violation of clauses 4.4(a), 6.1.1(a) and (d) and 6.1.2 of the party’s constitution

On Charge 2

The Committee found that:

(a) On October 13, 2005 you wrote to all party provincial chairpersons

general instructing provinces to start selecting candidates for the forthcoming senate elections;

(a) On October 14 you wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission misrepresenting the party by saying that it had resolved not to participate in the senate elections and calling upon the Commission to register as independents anyone from the party seeking to stand in the name of the party.

(b) On October 17, 18, 19, the MDC vice president Gibson Sibanda attempted on numerous occasions to organize a meeting of the top 6, you refused to meet.

(c) On October 20 and 21, President Mbeki twice invited you to a meeting with the top 5 in Pretoria you refused to attend.

(d) On October 29, at a rally in Harare, you appealed to party supporters to boycott the senate elections at the same rally you did nothing to stop your supporters from singing songs that threatened violence against those constitution adhering to the council resolution. The song referred to the pro- constitution group as (some of us are sliding on razor blades and traitors dig a hole) (vamwe vaita mutserendende parazor, mutengesi chera mwena).

(e) On October 31 mediation efforts of Prof. Raftopolous broke down. Despite having no powers in terms of the MDC Constitution to do so, you proceeded to call a National Council meeting on Saturday 5 November at which you sought and obtained support for your decision to boycott the senate elections. This move was illegal.

On Charge 3

(a) The Committee noted that in July 2005 the National Council passed a resolution dismissing Nhamo Musekiwa and Washington Gaga for their involvement in the violence that rocked the party in May 2005. You instructed the Secretary General instructing him to rehire the dismissed employees. A copy of the Secretary General’s letter was put before the Committee and accepted in evidence. It is clear from that letter that the Secretary General was advising the two employees that they were being hired on your instructions. You did this contrary to the National Council resolution. The Committee found that this action was in violation of clauses 4.4(a), 6.1 and (d) and 6.1.2.

Judgement and Verdict

The Disciplinary Committee concluded that you were guilty of all three counts. The Committee noted that as president of the MDC you are the custodian of the constitution of the party in terms of clause 6.1.1(a) of the MDC constitution. It your duty at all times to protect and defend the party’s constitution and yet you recklessly and grossly acted in violation of not just the constitution but its founding principles.

The Committee noted that your brazen breach of the party’s constitution:

(a) Caused divisions in the party.

(b) Confused the electorate

(c) Caused despondency in the electorate

(d) Resulted in violence and intimidation of party members

(e) Put the party into serious disrepute

The Committee agreed that penalty must demonstrate that no member of the party or its elected office bearers is above the constitution of the party.


The Committee agreed that the only fitting penalty for the gross misconduct which has brought to its knees and severely undermined the founding values and principles of the party is EXPULSION. You are therefore advised that it is the verdict of the National Disciplinary Committee that with immediate effect you are expelled from the MDC. You cease forthwith to be a member of the MDC. You are therefore ordered to surrender your party card, regalia and all party property in your custody to the party’s Management Committee.

You are, in terms of the provisions of the constitution entitled to appeal to the National Council over the Committee’s judgment, verdict and penalty.

Gibson Sibanda

Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.

Cc: Secretary General

Treasurer General

National Organising Secretary

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