MDC-T vice president, Thokozani Khupe, and the party’s national organising secretary, Abedinico Bhebhe, face disciplinary action for addressing an unsanctioned meeting which resulted in violent clashes between supporters suspected to be loyal to Khupe and Nelson Chamisa.
Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo media centre on Thursday, the party’s Bulawayo provincial chairperson, Gift Banda, hinted that Khupe and Bhebhe might be dragged before the party’s disciplinary committee for convening the meeting without the knowledge of the Bulawayo provincial executive.
“It is unfortunate that the national leaders who are supposed to be the custodians of the party and the constitution where we also derive instructions from for policies and principles are the ones who come down to divide people. As the chairperson of Bulawayo province, I was not aware of that meeting. That meeting was clearly illegal,” said Banda who, ironically, is one of people accused of causing the violence.
Banda said although Bhebhe and Khupe usurped his powers by calling an illegal meeting, the party’s provincial executive committee does not have powers to discipline the two national leaders.
“It is up to the national leadership to bring the two leaders to a disciplinary hearing. As Bulawayo province, we do not have powers to discipline any national leader. As provincial leaders we will only discipline ordinary members who were found wanting on that particular day,” said Banda who is also Bulawayo deputy mayor.
Banda also apologised for the violence which resulted in some vehicles being damaged.
“The party would like to categorically express its profound and sincere regret to our supporters, Bulawayo citizens, business people and the society at large for the ugly violence witnessed at our provincial offices. As a province, we condemn all forms of violence. We will do everything internally and externally to make sure that all those involved face the consequences,” Banda added.
Bulawayo magistrate, Frantilin Mkhwananzi, last Wednesday, granted bail to 12 MDC-T activists including Banda in connection with the violence that broke out at the party’s provincial offices on Sunday.