The Tendai Biti-led Movement for Democratic Change faction says suspended party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his colleagues should appear before a tribunal to answer charges filed against them including violating the party’s constitution to advance an anti-democratic agenda.
Suspended deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma told journalists in Harare that Tsvangirai and other top leaders who were suspended by the Biti group calling itself the Democratic Renewal Campaign team on Saturday are expected to attend the hearing.
Mangoma, who appears to have stirred a hornet’s nest by calling for the ouster of Tsvangirai for failing to dislodge Zanu PF from power, has been suspended by the former trade union leader’s MDC-T faction together with Biti, secretary of the party’s Guardians Council Sam Sipepa Nkomo, Solomon Madzore (MP, Dzivarasekwa), Paul Madzore (Glen View South), Moses Manyengavana, (Highfield West), Willas Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Bekithemba Nyathi (Pelandaba), Evelyn Masaiti (Proportional representation), Watchy Sibanda (Matabeleland South), Settlement Chikwinya (Mbizo) and Reggie Moyo (Luveve).
The Biti faction held its own National Council meeting Saturday where 136 members out of 138 are said to have voted to suspend Tsvangirai, deputy party president Thokozani Khuphe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo and his deputy Morgan Komichi, organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abednico Bhebhe, and party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.
Tsvangirai came out breathing fire and in turn held a National Council meeting which suspended the Biti-led group members, who claim that the party’s agenda has been hijacked by what they call “fascists” failing to serve the interests of MDC-T followers.
Mangoma, who was with Harare lawyer and spokesman for the Tendai Biti MDC-T faction, Jacob Mafume, of the so-called renewal faction seeking Tsvangirai's ouster, said the disciplinary tribunal would be comprised of three lawyers who are yet to be named.
But Tapiwa Mashakada, who was on Tuesday appointed by Tsvangirai's National Council as the acting secretary general of the MDC-T following Biti's expulsion, said Tsvangirai will not waste his time attending a meeting called by expelled members.
Mashakada said Biti, who represents Harare East in parliament, and eleven other legislators dismissed for attending the Saturday meeting, remain expelled from the MDC-T.
Meanwhile, as the MDC-T drama continues to unfold, Tsvangirai’s deputy, Thokozani Khuphe, has been tasked with delivering a letter to Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda recalling 11 lawmakers who attended the National Council meeting called by Tendai Biti at the weekend.