via Bulawayo24 NEWS | D-day for ‘suspended’ Morgan Tsvangirai. 17 June 2014 by Clemence Manyukwe
THE MDC renewal team has set tomorrow as the date on which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is set to appear before a tribunal consisting of three lawyers, two from Bulawayo to answer various charges that include violating the party’s constitution.
The party’s renewal team’s national council that is led by secretary general Tendai Biti suspended Tsvangirai two months ago, pending a hearing following sharp differences that followed calls for the opposition leader to step down in squabbles triggered by the MDC-T’s heavy losses in last year’s polls.
Tsvangirai is being charged with 17 counts that include violating the party’s constitution, unilaterally joining the inclusive government in 2009 and allegedly abusing $1,5 million from the government meant for the construction of his Highlands residence following negotiations that the party was not aware of.
The MDC renewal team spokesperson Jacob Mafume confirmed the latest development too.
“The hearing is on June 18. He is aware of the charges, but he has not responded,” he said.
Mafume could not immediately reveal the panel that would try Tsvangirai, but sources said three lawyers have been identified, one from Harare and two others from Bulawayo.
Contacted for comment, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said Tsvangirai would not attend the hearing initiated by Biti’s faction.
“President Tsvangirai cannot appear at a hearing of another party. These people have formed their own political party and there would be no hearing that he would attend,” said Mwonzora.
Tsvangirai and his former lieutenants’ now appear to have irreconcilable differences, with Biti at the weekend saying President Mugabe was a better leader than Tsvangirai.
The former Finance Minister said the MDC-T’s kitchen cabinet was useless as it had people who failed to deliver during the opposition party’s time in the inclusive government.
Tsvangirai has been losing a number of former key allies, with recent revelations showing that the party’s treasurer general Roy Bennett has since stopped fundraising for the group, amid suspicions from the former Prime Minister’s loyalists that he could be one of the main financiers’ of the renewal group.