MDC-T has set up a probe team to investigate allegations of irregularities in the Chitungwiza provincial elections that were won by Zengeza East MP Alex Musundire against Chitungwiza senator James Makore in July.
At the same time, Musundire is being accused by suspended district executives of purging individuals he suspected of voting against him, an allegation which he has since denied.
The probe team led by national executive committee member Blessing Chebundo started gathering evidence from districts that make up Chitungwiza province on the elections at Harvest House on Monday.
So far the team has received evidence from three districts — Mhondoro, Goromonzi and Zengeza West.
Musundire, in an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday, said he hoped the investigation would absolve him of any wrong doing.
“The party has opened a probe into the provincial election that ushered me into the province. I cannot comment more on the process as that would be sub judice,” Musundire said.
He, however, refuted allegations that he was purging perceived political opponents in Zengeza East constituency, but said the members were suspended after being accused of committing acts of violence.
“The suspensions of the six members in the constituency were done above board,” Musundire said. “They are alleged to have committed acts of violence against other party members at a meeting and the youth chairman suspended them pending a disciplinary hearing.”
He added that the constitution was silent on who should suspend errant members, but it is logical for the immediate supervisor to do so and the youth chair was correct.
“That gap in the constitution can only be solved by the national council, but in the meanwhile someone has to suspend and that person has to advise his decision to a disciplinary board to conduct a hearing,” Musundire said. “It is a surprise that some of the people who accuse me of purging them were in actual fact in my campaign team. They were on my side how could they say they were in the opposite camp?”
The purging allegations are contained in a letter that the six wrote to the national organising secretary Elias Mudzuri challenging their suspension and the composition of the ad hoc committee that was set up to conduct their disciplinary hearing.
They alleged that Musundire used Jabulani Mtunzi, the district youth chairman, as his henchman in their suspension on charges of causing disturbances at a party meeting in September 2010.
The six suspended are Felix Chihoro,Taurai Shenje, Geylord Chenjera, Sarah Gambe, Taurai Muterere and Simba Pembaton Runesu.
In their defence letter dated October 11 to Mudzuri, the six accused Musundire of meddling in matter pertaining to the district in an Endeavour to oust his political opponents from the party.
“The provincial chairman and MP for Zengeza East, Alex Musundire, is the one who is behind all political disturbances and divisions in Zengeza East. It is so sad that he is using district youth chairman Mtunzi to make false charges against us as part of his well calculated plot to have us kicked out of the party,” read the letter.
They added that Musundire’s actions were also premised on self-preservation as one of the suspended members was eyeing his seat in the next elections.
“Musundire is also suspecting that we are clandestinely backing the district youth vice chairman, Taurai Shenje, to take over from him as the party’s parliamentary candidate in the next harmonised poll,” they said in the letter.
Chitungwiza province has always been volatile and the last provincial executive was dissolved on charges of abetting and condoning corruption in Chitungwiza municipality. MDC-T went on to fire all its 23 elected councillors from the party.