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THE MDC–T and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai are facing contempt of court charges following the party’s recent decision to reinstate deputy mayor, Gift Banda, as the party’s substantive Bulawayo provincial chairperson despite a High Court ruling barring him from holding the post.
Banda was controversially elected the party’s Bulawayo provincial boss in 2013 but his tenure was short-lived after main rival in the contest Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo successfully challenged his election at the High Court.
The High Court subsequently nullified Banda’s election, forcing him to relinquish his post as chairperson.
Since the outcome of the court ruling, the province has remained divided on factional lines resulting in the party dispatching an arbiter–general last month to deal with the issue.
According to party insiders, the arbiter–general only identified as Musamirapamwe compiled a damming report implicating the party’s vice president, Thokozani Khupe and Banda as leaders of factional fighting in the province.
Musamirapamwe’s report, which was presented to Tsvangirai, according to the insiders, also gave a thumps up to High Court ruling against Banda.
But party officials who attended the national executive meeting Harare last week said they were shocked when Tsvangirai announced that Banda had been reinstated as the Bulawayo chairperson.
“During the meeting, Tsvangirai just summarized the arbiter-general’s report and after that verbally recommended that Banda be reinstated.
“Although the party’s structures have not been informed of this position, the provincial leadership has already beenadvised,” said a party source who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.
The reinstatement of Banda is certain to further widen cracks in the party.
When reached for comment the party’s national spokesperson, Obert Gutu refused to comment on the issue, insisting that deliberations of the national executive meetings are private and confidential.
“I cannot comment on issues of our national executive meetings. They are private and confidential.
“If there is anything which we want to comment on regarding the deliberations of our party organs we will issue a press statement or call for a press conference,” he said before switching of his cell phone. source-newzimbabwe