ZIMBABWE – Former Prime Minister and opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has wielded the axe on two officials in Marondera accused of taking part in by-elections held in September.
The two councillors, MisheckManyere (Ward 5), who is also the MDC-T’s district secretary for elections and Dominic Matangira (Ward 7), the district vice chair, were handed five year suspensions.
The sanctions were imposed by a five member disciplinary committee headed by district organising secretary Witness Muzavazi after the two were found guilty of violating the party’s position not to contest elections until President Robert Mugabe institutes requisite reforms.
The two are said to have voted in by-elections for the Marondera Central constituency which were eventually won by Zanu PF’s Lawrence Katsiru.
A senior official in Mashonaland East who requested anonymity confirmed the suspensions which are effective from November 7th but added the two would retain their positions as councillors.
Matangira and Manyere were suspended for indiscipline, said the source.
They went against party calls for members not to participate in any election until further notice. We were surprised on how two position holding party members would do such a thing and vote.
They were spotted by other party members coming out of polling stations and there is overwhelming evidence that they voted.
The party official added: â€œFor the next five years they won’t contest in any party position.
As for now they will remain as councillors on the assumption that they will be loyal to the party. This means however, they won’t contest as councillors in the 2018 elections.
MDC-T Marondera district chairperson, Chengetai Murowa, refused to comment on the issue and referred questions to provincial chairperson, Piniel Denga, who was not available for comment.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said in a terse retort; â€œIt (suspension) could have happened at provincial level and, as you know, it is a process and we are yet to get that at national level.
The papers are yet to get to our office.
One of the victims, Matangira confirmed the suspension.
The by-election was held to fill the vacancy left following the expulsion of former Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde as part of a brutal purge that rocked the ruling part ahead of its 6th national congress last year.
Kaukonde was one of a cast of party stalwarts forced through the exit door for allegedly plotting against Mugabe and headed by then Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Mujuru was also forced out of the former liberation movement.