Tsvangirai suspends key allies over Bulawayo violence

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has suspended his key allies, Charlton Hwende (deputy treasurer general) and Thabitha Khumalo (deputy spokesperson) as the opposition leader moves in to deal with the party’s Matabeleland disturbances that saw party vice president Thokozani Khupe being assaulted.

Moses Matenga zifmnews.com 

Three more people have been suspended as the party said it was investigating the matter.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the development.

“The President has suspended the party’s Deputy Treasurer-General Mr. Charlton Hwende and Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity, Hon. Thabitha Khumalo, pending full investigations, for suspected crimes of omission and commission before and during the disturbances. He has also suspended three members of the Youth Assembly over the same matter,” he said.

Tamborinyoka said a probe team has been dispatched to Bulawayo and a full comprehensive investigation will determine any further action to be taken.

Though it was not clear why Khumalo was suspended, Hwende was suspended for a comment on his Facebook page that was interpreted to justify the violence against Khupe.

Khupe was assaulted by youths who stormed into a meeting she was chairing in Bulawayo a day after snubbing the signing ceremony of a coalition deal among several opposition parties dubbed the MDC Alliance.

The former deputy premier in the inclusive government and the party leadership in Bulawayo were reportedly unhappy with the deal arguing Tsvangirai had given too much to MDC leader Welshman Ncube and sidelining them.

Tsvangirai signed the coalition deal with Ncube, People’s Democratic Party led by Tendai Biti, Transform Zimbabwe led by Jacob Ngarivhume, Zimbabwe People First led by Agrippa Mutambara among others.

Khupe, MDC-T national chairman Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe snubbed the event.