MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday told Bulawayo councillors that the party would be instituting investigations on the allegations of corruption that has led to five of them being suspended by the Government recently.
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, recently suspended deputy mayor Gift Banda together with Clrs Charles Moyo (Ward nine), Mzama Dube (Ward 25), Reuben Matengu (Ward 21) and James Sithole (Ward seven) over a raft of allegations involving underhand dealings and rampant corruption.
Mr Tsvangirai, who arrived in Bulawayo yesterday morning for the party’s 17th anniversary celebrations at the White City Stadium today, met the councillors before later chairing the national executive which also met in the city.
“Tsvangirai called all the councillors and addressed them on the recent suspensions by Government. He said while the party stood with its councillors, an internal party investigation would be conducted to gauge veracity of the matter,” said an insider.
“In the meeting, Tsvangirai said Zanu-PF wants to suspend the entire council but before the party makes any statements, it needed to conduct its own investigations. He also said he wanted to tell us that he will talk about the matter during the celebrations to the effect that the party would conduct investigations. Tsvangirai said he wanted to tell us first so that we won’t be taken by surprise.”
Mr Tsvangirai is reportedly under pressure from a clique within the MDC-T that wants the party to also suspend the councillors over the allegations of corruption.
“The main target is Gift Banda, a key ally of vice president Thokozani Khupe, so there is a push to suspend those councillors because there is a precedence of Chitungwiza where councillors were suspended from the party under similar circumstances,” said a source.
Ms Khupe reportedly leads a faction engaged in a tussle with another led by Mr Nelson Chamisa who was recently appointed along with Engineer Elias Mudzuri as additional vice presidents of the MDC-T.
“The clique wants the matter to be taken to the portfolio committee who will forward it to the legal committee and then relayed to the national executive committee before the national council makes a decision on whether they are suspended or not basing on the findings of the investigations.”
There was chaos after the party’s national executive council meeting when youths allegedly organised by Bulawayo South legislator Ms Dorcas Sibanda came to the party’s provincial offices chanting Mr Chamisa’s name.
“There is a plot to organise the same youths to chant Chamisa’s name during the celebrations tomorrow in a bid to denounce Khupe and show her that she does not have influence in the province. The Khupe camp on the other hand insists that the numbers would tell who is powerful in Bulawayo,” said the insider.