BY SILAS NKALA
ZAPU has suspended its mobilisation secretary Derek Katsenga, accusing him of fuelling tribalism and factionalism.
Katsenga’ suspension came shortly after two other party executives, Nkosikhona Ndlovu based in South Africa and Godfrey Ruvuyo from Mashonaland Central, were also sent packing for putting the name of the opposition party into disrepute.
Ndlovu was accused of setting up parallel structures around the country, working in provinces without knowledge and consent of local leadership and structures. He also faces a charge of a security nature.
Like Katsenga, Ruvuyo stands accused of fanning tribalism and factionalism.
The latest suspensions came at a time when the party’s elective congress slated for this monthend is reportedly hanging in the balance after structures in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South provinces raised concern over alleged electoral irregularities during provincial conferences. Katsenga’s suspension was confirmed by party secretary-general (SG) Strike Mnkandla in a letter dated March 31.
“The presidency has been observing the manner in which you have tarnished the work for which you were getting good reviews and support throughout the party. We have no choice, but to uphold discipline and defend the integrity of the party by instituting disciplinary action, starting with your immediate suspension and interdiction from carrying on with your functions as Zapu secretary for mobilisation and organisation,” Mnkandla wrote.
“After being furnished with the relevant information and charges, the council of elders will commence a disciplinary process where you will
be summoned and given an opportunity to defend yourself. Among the charges against you are that you proceeded to hold or to associate yourself with the provincial conference in Mashonaland Central after being cautioned by the SG that the use of regalia from a candidate was not permissible and would nullify the process.”
Indications are that Bernard Magugu’s T-shirts were distributed at the said conference in Mashonaland Central province. Katsenga was supposed to forbid that as a national organiser.
Magugu is one of the candidates in the party’s presidential race.
Mnkandla confirmed Katsenga’s suspension, but declined to give details.
“That matter is not yet for public consumption. At this stage, it is sub judice to talk about it, but yes there is such an issue,” Mnkandla said.
Katsenga could not be reached for comment.
Besides fanning factionalism and tribablism, he also faces allegations of incompetence, coercing members to vote for a particular person, inciting attacks on party leadership, threatening violence and back-stabbing the party’s top leadership.