Masotsha probe divides MDC Alliance

MDC Alliance party members in Bulawayo have dismissed as a ruse, the outcome of the investigation of provincial women’s assembly chairperson, Tendai Masotsha for her alleged part in the abduction of student Tawanda Muchehiwa in July. 

Instead, the party members believe the investigation reveals the extent to which factionalism has divided the opposition party.

According to the opposition party’s findings, no “conclusive evidence” was found that Masotsha was an informer for the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) neither had she collaborated with the state agents in Muchehiwa`s abduction.

She was therefore reinstated back to her position

However, party members in Bulawayo who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing any reprisal alleged the investigation had become a political dogfight against its national chairperson, Thabitha Khumalo by some Standing Committee members who failed to receive nominations at their last congress.

“The findings show there were no investigations by the national organ but points out how (Secretary General Charlton ) Hwende and two vice presidents, Professor Welshman Ncube and Lynette Karenyi- Kore are behind Masotsha,” they alleged.

The party members further claimed Khumalo had amassed clout within party structures unlike other senior officials.

The party members also claimed that the three senior officials, Hwende, Prof Ncube and Kore who supported Masotsha had not come down to Bulawayo to see or talk to the abduction victims. 

“Ask yourself whether they compensated victims in the party, not necessarily financially but offered assistance with repairs at their homes that were broken into. Secondly, there has never been a meeting by party leadership exclusively on abductions either by the vice presidents in Bulawayo in relation to the abductions but they are quick to defend factional issues. This investigation became a political turf,” they claimed.

“In summary, no investigation on Masotsha was done, instead the whole issue turned into a factional battle where Hwende and company are against Thabitha (Khumalo).”

Party members also branded the findings by the investigation committee as a defence rather than an inquiry.

“The case involving Masotsha was handled by a team of three comprising  Concillia Chinanzvavana, Jameson Timba and Advocate Kucaca Phulu. These are politicians who lean towards a certain side and their brief was to counter what Bulawayo had laid as a complaint. The investigation was supposed to be done by the party’s security wing, which deals with security,” they said.

Reached for comment, MDC Alliance Bulawayo Provincial Spokesperson, Swithern Chirowodza, referred the publication to the party`s national spokeperson.

“Please seek a comment from the Party’s national spokesperson,” he said.

MDC Alliance National Party Spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, said the “ad hoc committee acted in accordance with the specific resolutions of the National Council.”

“After hearing both sides, conducting a wide range of interviews and considering all the available evidence they made findings based on the information that was availed. This is in line with the party’s undertaking to be open, accountable and transparent on the issue. We made a commitment to investigate and report back. That is what was done.”

Contacted for comment, MDC Alliance VP, Prof. Ncube said as leadership, he could only comment to those allegations if the anonymous party members were willing to be on record and reveal who they are. 

“Let them come on record and say ‘I, so and so is saying this.’ then we will comment afterwards. They must be prepared to go on record and reveal themselves. That’s the rule,” he said in an interview with CITE.

Presenting the findings, Timba said the committee engaged and interviewed all stakeholders including the family and legal representatives of Muchehiwa,  Masotsha and other members of the party.

In conducting its work, the Committee examined all documents relevant to the case including media reports in print, audio and video.

But neither Muchehiwa nor his cousins Advent Mathuthu and Amandlenkosi Mathuthu who spent some time with Masotsha at the police station after they were arrested were interviewed.

This article has been updated after receiving an official comment from the MDC Alliance National Spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere.

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