THE Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation has fired eight legislators — including Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ms Nomalanga Khumalo — and 49 councillors on allegations of defecting to MDC-T. The party leadership met last week and resolved to axe the officials as they prepare for primary elections ahead of harmonised elections slated for next year.
Deputy party spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi confirmed the development yesterday.
“We have officially expelled the Deputy Speaker Ms Nomalanga Khumalo (Umzingwane), Maxwell Dube (Tsholotsho South), Thandeko Mnkandla (Gwanda North), Senators Dalumuzi Khumalo (Lupane) and Kembo Dube (Umzingwane),” he said.
“We have also fired 49 councillors, 33 in Matabeleland North, 15 in Mata beleland South and one in Bulawayo. The party has also officially fired the already expelled legislators Mr Abdenico Bhebhe (Nkayi South), Mr Njabuliso Mguni (Bulilima East) and Mr Norman Mpofu (Lupane East).
“We sent letters of termination of membership because they have not been active in party activities for the past three years because they joined MDC-T. We used Section 10A of the MDC constitution which stipulates that any official who joins another party can be expelled without convening a disciplinary hearing.”
Mr Chihwayi said his party would be writing to the Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr Lovemore Moyo soon to have the legislators expelled from the House.
“We are moving at supersonic speed to get rid of these political dissidents. They publicly decampaigned the party and they also don’t recognise Prof Ncube as our leader. We are already putting structures in the constituencies and councils these people were holding,” said Mr Chihwayi.
MDC will remain with four representatives in the House of Assembly after firing six members and four in the Senate after showing two the exit.
However, the legislators dismissed the expulsion as a non-event, saying they belonged to the faction led by Professor Arthur Mutambara.
They said the courts were yet to determine whether the congress that saw Prof Ncube ascending to the top was valid.
“For them to say they have expelled us is the same as saying Zanu-PF has expelled me. I belong to the MDC on whose ticket I went to Parliament.
“The MDC led by Prof Mutambara is the one I belong to. For them to say I defected to the MDC-T, that is their story that they believe,” said Mr Maxwell Dube.
He said he would respond on receipt of communication from MDC.
Ms Khumalo said she belonged to the faction led by Prof Mutambara, adding that the faction led by Prof Ncube could not expel her until the courts made a determination on who was the legitimate party leader.
“They are embarrassing themselves because they are claiming to have fired people who have already defected. I told them from the word go that I was not part of them, but belong to Prof Mutambara.
“I am also informed that about 12 councillors in Umzingwane defected to the MDC-T so they cannot say they have fired people who have already defected,” said Ms Khumalo.
Prof Ncube and Prof Mutambara are engaged in a fierce battle over the control of the party that resulted in the case spilling to the courts.
This came about after Prof Mutambara and 13 other officials challenged the validity of the congress.
The High Court confirmed the congress, but Prof Mutambara and the 13 officials appealed to the Supreme Court.
By Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter