MDC Alliance has slapped six top leaders in the party's Chiwundura district structures with five-year suspensions over their alleged support for independent parliamentary and council candidates in the July 30 harmonised elections.
The opposition party suspended district youth organising secretary Simbarashe Zimwara, ward 5 organising secretary for youths, Partson Banda, and Tichaona Jumai, the ward 5 defence and security secretary.
Also suspended were elections secretary Moses Marecha, main wing district organiser Aaron Mumvana and his wife Tendai Bungure.
The suspensions were announced at a party meeting held in Senga, Gweru, on
The members were accused of supporting losing parliamentary candidate for Chiwundura, Blessing Murondiwa, who stood as an independent after losing to Livingstone Chimina in the party's primary elections.
Chimina won the parliamentary seat.
Mumvana stood as an independent candidate for council's ward 5 seat in Chiwundura and was supported by his wife Bungure.
The Nelson Chamisa-led coalition fielded double candidates in some wards and constituencies, with some disgruntled members also contesting as independent candidates.
MDC Alliance Midlands South acting chairperson Cleopas Shiri confirmed the development and said it was in line with a resolution made by the party's national council in August to deal with members, who either participated as independents or supported an independent candidate in this year's polls.
"Yes, I can confirm the development and add that there was overwhelming evidence that those suspended had lost the vision of the party ahead of the July 30 elections by supporting independent candidates. Some of them were actually agents of independent candidate Murondiwa," Shiri said.
He also highlighted that suspended party members were free to contest the suspensions.
"MDC Alliance is a very fair party. Those that have been suspended are free to appeal and seek recourse in their situations if they think the decisions were misguided. However, a thorough look into their cases was done before arrival at the decisions to discipline them," Shiri said.
Cosmas Chipope, the ward 5 MDC Alliance chairperson, however, challenged suspensions of members from his structure, saying they were not done above board.
"The meeting to announce suspension of the guys was done in my ward, but I was not aware of it. I feel the process was done unconstitutionally because, as a ward with our leadership, we should have been involved in the decision. But from what I gather, the suspensions were motivated by factional agendas, in which some leaders at the top and in the provincial structures, in particular, are purging potential threats to their positions. We will challenge the suspensions," he said.
Chipope said he had chaired a ward assembly meeting last Wednesday, but no such issue was discussed.
"Our organising secretary Amos Chibaya and chairperson Thabitha Khumalo had assured us that no one will be suspended because a lot of disturbances had happened ahead of the polls, even at national level, but I am shocked with what has happened here," he said.