|Sikhala and Biti in at the Tsavingirai Memorial lecture in Masvingo on Feb 14, 2020|
…as Chamisa settles for suspension
MDC vice president Tendai Biti and national deputy chairperson Job Sikhala last Sunday came to the rescue of the under fire MDC Masvingo provincial executive which party president Nelson Chamisa had moved out to dissolve but had to only be suspended after Biti and Sikhala’s intervention.
Time has proven right sentiments by former MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora who lambasted the MDC Masvingo provincial executive when it was elected last year at the chaotic provincial congress saying they were incompetent and the party, in the province, was doomed.
The James Gumbi led executive retained the province at the last year’s controversial provincial congress presided over by Chamisa but has failed to pass the test of time with the party becoming dormant in the province under their watch.
Chamisa told the MDC provincial assembly last Sunday that the province has failed and showed gross incompetence which has resulted in chaos in the province with some districts being presided over by parallel structures.
“Masvingo has a big problem. We have a dysfunctional provincial executive which has failed the people and the party.
“It is my duty to dissolve this province because they have shown gross incompetence and insubordination,” said Chamisa.
Biti and Sikhala told Chamisa that it was prudent for the matter to be discussed at the national council arguing that dissolving the province was rather too harsh before ascertaining all the facts.
Chamisa gave each provincial executive member the floor to speak for themselves but the majority agreed to be dissolved saying they have failed but Chamisa went on to suspend them indefinitely pending finalization of their charges by the national executive.
Gumbi was conspicuous by his absence from the provincial assembly meeting and he took a lot of punches in absentia.
“Where is Gumbi? Why is he not here? Who did he tell? That is clear insubordination. This meeting was called for by the party’s leadership and Gumbi decides not to show up without giving a reason.
“I will not tolerate indiscipline in the party. The party has protocol and hierarchy. If you hold a position you serve at the pleasure of the people. But if you see that you can no longer deliver as per the will of the people that is your end,” said Chamisa.
MDC Masvingo provincial organizer Elton Ziki tried to throw Gumbi under the bus saying Chamisa must not paint them with the same brush arguing that it was Gumbi who had a problem and he should be the only one to take the fall.
“We should not paint everyone with the same brush. Some of us are just caught up in between when the real problem is with Gumbi.
“Gumbi is a highly temperamental character and he does not take onboard other people’s opinions. He gets angry easily and imposes his will on the province,” argued Ziki.
Chamisa fired back at Ziki telling him that Gumbi alone would not have destroyed the province but it was a collective effort by all provincial members.
“The problem is not Gumbi. You have all failed. Do not try to defend yourself. You fail as a team. The province has no capacity to work together. Objectively speaking this province has failed.
“I told you to deal with the mayor Maboke issue but you did not listen. The party has become dormant under your watch. We will not have this. There are serious factions in the province and there are a lot of parallel structures in most districts and the province is the problem so we are suspending it.
“An independent team will be put in place to deal with all the problems in the province,” said Chamisa.
Gumbi could not be drawn into comment as his mobile went unanswered.