Suspended Mutambara MDC MPs take case to court

zimbabwe_courtThree MPs from the Mutambara MDC, suspended several months ago on charges of undermining their party, have now taken their case to the High Court. Nkayi South MP Abednico Bhebhe, Norman Mpofu (Bulilima East) and Njabuliso Mguni from Lupane East want the High Court to set aside the outcome of a weekend disciplinary hearing, because they feel the party di

The 3 MPs are part of a group of 8 officials hauled before the disciplinary committee, to answer charges they denounced the party leadership while drumming up support for the larger MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai. Two other MPs, Thandeko Mkandla (Gwanda North) and Maxwell Dube (Tsholotsho South), were asked to appear before the hearings, despite not being suspended. Former St Marys MP Job Sikhala, National Youth Chair Gift Nyandoro and commercial farmer Alex Goosen were also suspended.
Its the suspended MPs however who have hired lawyer Thamsanqa Khumalo, arguing that the charges placed on them are vague and they want the disciplinary committee to lay specific charges. Over the weekend the MPs walked out of the hearing demanding specific charges, dates and venues of when the crimes were committed. Their lawyer Khumalo told journalists his clients wanted to be furnished with the names and statements from all the witnesses involved in the matter.
The chairman of the disciplinary committee, Lyson Mlambo, said they had already made a decision on the fate of the MPs and would announce the verdicts soon. He accused the MPs of trying to use the court process as a means of delaying the case. The party leadership meanwhile remains heavily divided over the matter.
Farai Maguwu, director of the Centre for Research and Development based in Harare, said the Mutambara MDC was committing political suicide by attempting to sack its elected MPs. He said the top leadership all lost elections last year and if they got rid of the MPs, who all won elections, the party would become an empty shell without any constituency. Maguwu said the only reason the Mutambara MDC was in government was because of the elected MPs.

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