MDC moves to impeach Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai's deputy, Gibson Sibanda, who also chairs the party's disciplinary committee, said Tsvangirai had "wilfully violated the Constitution of the MDC" but would not say what the next course of action would be.
Legal analysts said last night that Sibanda's statement appeared to be a "charge sheet" which cleared the way for disciplinary action against Tsvangirai who has led the MDC since formation six years ago.
Sibanda said the crisis engulfing the MDC was the culmination of "sad events in the party since the beginning of the year."
Sibanda also accused Tsvangirai of sheltering thugs and hooligans accused of orchestrating an orgy of violence against senior party officials this year, including an attack on Glen Norah MP Priscilla Misihairabwi.
"An inquiry was conducted and it revealed the close involvement of the president’s office culminating in the national council taking a resolution to expel these youths from the party," Sibanda said.
"The National Council also resolved to dismiss Washington Gaga and Nhamo Musekiwa, who were working as bodyguards in the president’s office, after they were found to have been responsible for coordinating the violent activities of these youths."
But in clear violation of the council’s resolution, Sibanda said, Tsvangirai reengaged the two officers.
"The Council had also resolved that some of the officers in the president’s office who had been implicated in the violence should be investigated and to date this has not taken place and the mastermind of the violence seem to have been protected by the president," Sibanda said.
Last night, Tsvangirai was said to be unaware of the statement, telling local journalists that he met Sibanda on Wednesday and the statement had not been mentioned during their discussions.
Senior MDC officials were telling New Zimbabwe.com last night that Sibanda's statement was "respectfully urging Tsvangirai to go".
"Not only does it warn him about his future conduct, it also demonstrates in graphic terms how he has flagrantly violated the constitution of the party. Our constitution is clear that once a member violates the constitution, they can be suspended or expelled. That is given greater effect by the fact that Sibanda chairs the disciplinary committee," said a senior MDC official last night.
The sources added that a series of meetings were held in the past week with foreign diplomats who were "dismayed" by Tsvangirai's refusal to accept the outcome of the senate vote.
Sibanda's stinging statement also accused Tsvangirai of lying to the international media when he claimed the national council had been split right in the middle on whether to boycott or participate in the senate elections. It later emerged the pro-senate lobby had a clear majority of 33 to 31 votes.
"The Council decided by a majority of 33 to 31, with two spoilt papers, to participate in the election but the president refused to accept the outcome of this democratic vote, even though he, himself had immediately prior to the vote being taken, implored all members of the council to accept and defend whatever outcome would come out of the voting process," said Sibanda.
"After the meeting, the president addressed a press conference at which he misrepresented the outcome of the Council meeting by saying that there had been an equal number of votes on either side and that there was a deadlock; he had to use his casting vote in favour of a boycott of the Senate elections
"It should be noted that even if there had been an equality of votes, the president does not have a casting vote as section 5.4.9 of the constitution provides: 'All decisions of the National Council…..shall be by simple majority provided that in the event of an equality of the motion shall be lost.'"
Sibanda also accused Tsvangirai of going on a campaign to force a senate boycott by taking action "which is in conflict" with the national council's decision.
This, Sibanda said, includes writing to all party provincial chairpersons instructing them to ignore a letter written by the party’s deputy secretary general Gift Chimanikire instructing provinces to start selecting candidates for the upcoming senate election.
Tsvangirai was also acting against the party interests, Sibanda said, when he 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 purporting to stand in the name of the party."
"The president himself uttered threats and allowed other office bearers to utter threats against a number of party office bearers who had opposed his view that the MDC should not participate in the Senate elections," said Sibanda. "The president also issued disparaging statements against members of the National Council who had voted in favour of participation.
"By his actions, the president has wilfully violated the Constitution of the MDC and breached its provisions. The MDC was founded on principles which include democracy, freedom, transparency and justice. The party is determined to uphold these principles and values and will not allow one person or a group of persons to destroy them."
Meanwhile, MDC sources last night revealed that differences between Tsvangirai and the party's secretary general Welshman Ncube were widening, as it emerged Ncube had refused to address a rally in Chitungwiza after Tsvangirai had attacked pro-senate MPs as "sell-outs" last week.
Said a source: "If you notice, Ncube has not spoken since this whole senate thing broke out. He knows Tsvangirai is itching for a media dog-fight but he won't give him that satisfaction. The mood is tense, and its fair to say Ncube is very disappointed at how Tsvangirai has conducted himself."
The sources also added that the provinces that voted for participation, particularly Matabeleland North and South together with Bulawayo would go ahead and contest the senate elections in defiance of Tsvangirai.
"Some people have said the battle is tribal. Indeed it is. Tsvangirai has surrounded himself with Karanga's like Nelson Chamisa, Lucia Mativenga and Tapiwa Mashakada and Ncube has fallen back on his Matabeleland supporters who insist on taking part in the elections," said the source.
"The Tsvangirai camp feels that power remains with Ncube's group and they are the ones who have been watching the Zanu PF succession issue with more than a passing glance because they hope that Emmerson Mnangagwa will emerge as the victor, and then bring the MDC in a coalition government with the Karangas in absolute charge.
about the Ncube camp going to bed with Zanu PF is rubbish because they
have nothing in common with Zanu PF, but the Tsvangirai camp does and
their point man is Mnangagwa."
All material copyright newzimbabwe.com
Material may be published or reproduced in any form with appropriate credit to this website