BY SHARON BUWERIMWE
MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has suspended losing parliamentary candidate for Epworth constituency in the recent by-elections, Zivai Mhetu, accusing him of bringing the name of the party into disrepute.
The suspension follows the beating up of another MDC-T activist, Kudzanai Mashumba, in Harare after he tried to expose Mwonzora’s alleged misuse of funds and abuse of office.
On Friday, Mwonzora called in anti-riot police and bouncers to block Mhetu from entering the party’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House headquarters.
Mhetu told NewsDay that he was being victimised for speaking out against Mwonzora’s transgressions.
“They suspended me verbally. They hired party youths, bouncers and riot police so that they could bar me from entering the national council meeting,” he said yesterday.
“I requested a suspension letter, which they couldn’t provide. Before they even planned to suspend me, I was already planning to quit. I cannot be part of a shameful organisation. I was patient to tolerate his incompetency, his abuse of funds, his abuse of power, but I have reached such a level that I cannot continue.
“People have lost confidence in the leadership of Mwonzora. I realised that we cannot go to a national congress with such a leader because he is going to rig the elections. So participating in the national congress will be as good as sanitising his leadership and we are never going anywhere as a party.”
Mhetu accused Mwonzora of being a Zanu PF puppet bent on destroying opposition
“Whenever he speaks on the podium, he is found to be castigating Nelson Chamisa and his CCC [Citizens Coalition for Change] party. At no point did he speak about corruption of the Zanu PF government, strikes by teachers and nurses. Our duty as the opposition is to ensure checks and balances on the ruling party and to keep it on its toes. Mwonzora is not doing that. He is busy fighting the opposition,” he added.
MDC-T chairperson Morgen Komichi confirmed Mhetu’s suspension.
“Yes, the national council suspended him, I have nothing else to say,” he said curtly.
Mwonzora is facing internal rebellion after the party’s poor showing in the by-elections held recently. The party failed to get a single parliamentary or local government seat despite getting $150 million under the Political Parties (Finance) Act to mount a solid campaign.