By Robert Tapfumaneyi
DEFIANT MDC-T national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe has thrown the cat among the pigeons, telling court party funds totalling $7 million have been wiped out by acting party president Thokozani Khupe and national chair Morgen Komichi.
He made the claims in his affidavit deposited at the High Court following a court challenge by two disgruntled activists, Gilbert Kagodora and Nason Mamuse.
The activists are unhappy about their leaders ‘hiding critical information’ regarding a party extraordinary congress slated for November 30.
Bhebhe, a joint respondent in the case, took the opportunity to expose the rot within the MDC’s weaker faction.
MDC-T is the 1st Respondent, Khupe, Komichi and Bhebhe are 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents respectively.
“1st Respondent (MDC-T) opened and now operates books of accounts without reference whatsoever to the National Executive as is required by the constitution,” said Bhebhe.
“In fact, 1st Respondent received from the Government of Zimbabwe, under the Political Finances Act, whooping Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Zimbabwean dollars which 2nd (Khupe) and 3rd (Komichi) Respondents wiped clean outside the mandate and framework of 1st Respondent’s constitution.”
Bhebhe also told the court through his affidavit he has also failed to convince Khupe and Komichi to organise a proper national executive committee meeting as per the party constitution.
“In fact, as late as Thursday the 8th of October 2020, in the course of a sitting of 1st Respondent’s National Standing Committee, a subcommittee of the National Executive, I reiterated for the umpteenth time to 2nd and 3rd Respondents the need to convene a National Executive and/or National Council meeting,” he said.
“I must acknowledge though a sorry attempt by 2nd Respondent to hold a virtual National Council meeting, sometime on the 9th of May 2020.
“2nd Respondent directed the holding of a National Council meeting on the WhatsApp platform.
“In my capacity as the National Organising Secretary, I created a WhatsApp group on the 3rd of May 2020 with a membership of just about One Hundred Fifty (150) members of the 2014 structures and in which I was the Administrator with full benefits.
“Shortly after commencement of the virtual National Council meeting, after Douglas Mwonzora cited in the 1st Applicant’s founding affidavit had posted the agenda, there was an en mass departure of some members exiting the WhatsApp group one after another.
“Shortly thereafter, my number was added (as an ordinary backbencher) to a new WhatsApp group at which something with the semblance of a meeting seemed to be starting or continuing.”
Bhebhe added, “I noticed that 3rd Respondent was the co-administrator of the said WhatsApp group, sharing administration benefits with a Mr Phugeni, some lanky tall fellow well known to me as a member of the National Executive.
“I confronted 2nd and 3rd Respondents about the new arrangement and voiced my dissatisfaction there and then, before exiting shortly after my pleas that the meeting be properly constituted if it is to be considered a sitting of the National Council were ignored.
“I am not surprised, in light of the foregoing, that 1st and 2nd Applicants are before this Honourable Court.”
The former opposition legislator went on to say that Khupe has failed to adhere to the 30 March Supreme Court judgment which nullified the appointment of Nelson Chamisa as MDC leader, ordering the party to hold an extraordinary congress, using the 2014 structures.
Bhebhe said both Khupe and Komichi were disregarding the MDC-T constitution, abusing the National Standing Committee to pass “dubious” decisions such as firing elected officials and members of the 2014 party structures without due process.