THE MDC-T has ordered all provinces to lift members’ suspensions, get rid of vote-buying and put an end to factionalism ahead of its congress to be held in May.
According to circulars sent to the party’s 12 provinces by MDC-T organising secretary Elias Mudzuri and secretary-general Tendai Biti last month, the party warned that it would not tolerate vote-buying by officials seeking to be elected at the congress.
As the MDC-T congress draws near with members jostling to land influential posts, reports of vote-buying and factionalism have spread.
Biti said some members of the party had adopted unconstitutional moves to secure posts and some of them were using operations such as Operation Gara Uripo or Mira Uripo — meaning some members are working to maintain the status quo.
“The national executive committee has adopted a special code of conduct that will deal with the congress. The party will (exercise) zero tolerance to any omissions or commissions of misconduct,” wrote Biti to provinces. “Vote-buying, sexism, factionalism and any acts of misconduct will not be tolerated.”
“Compliance with congress timeliness and organising department template, it has come to our attention that in a few provinces elections are not held consistent with the constitution. The December 21 letter and council resolution of December 16 2010, some provinces have adopted unconstitutional and undemocratic practices, these include aberrations such as Operation Gara uripo or Mira uripo.”
In another circular sent out on January 17, Mudzuri directed provinces to lift suspensions of members and work towards electing ward, district and provincial executives before the May indaba.
The directive came hard on the heels of the suspension of MDC-T Matabeleland North organising secretary Cornelius Mubaiwa for allegedly questioning the unilateral appointment of Thembinkosi Sibindi and Prince Sibanda onto the provincial executive. Mubaiwa was suspended in January by provincial chairman Sengezo Tshabangu who sources said was likely to lose his seat in the forthcoming provincial executive elections.
The infighting has delayed wards, district and provincial elections which were supposed to have been completed by end of last month.
Sources said senior MDC-T officials in Matabeleland were clashing over Mubaiwa’s suspension, with some calling for its lifting.
There have been squabbles in Bulawayo over the provincial chairmanship pitting State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo and Mzilikazi Senator Mattson Hlalo against each other. Moyo is seeking to land the post although other party members are blocking him because he has not been a member for at least two years as is stated in the party guidelines.
Last week, the MDC-T came up with guidelines for selecting candidates for local government and parliamentary elections and a raft of proposals to amend the constitution during its elective congress.