MASVINGO – MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, who in March this year suspended the entire Masvingo provincial executive for fanning factionalism, has relieved provincial chairperson James Gumbi of his duties replacing him with former senator Misheck Marava on interim basis.
Four provincial executive members were summoned to Harare for a hearing and only Gumbi was suspended.
Provincial secretary for information Derrick Charamba, provincial secretary Erium Musendekwa and provincial treasurer Innocent Munhazo were reportedly pardoned.
Gumbi, a man of means who helped fund party programmes in the province, told TellZim News he accepted the decision and will work with the new leadership.
“The party is bigger than me and I was informed of the decision which I am going to follow. The party knows best and if they make a decision you will be obliged to follow.
“They want the party to move forward and I will work with the new chair to push party programmes,” said Gumbi.
MDC Alliance will have a provincial executive meeting at its provincial offices this Sunday, November 01, where Gumbi’s fate will be formally communicated to structures.
A senior MDC Alliance official who spoke to TellZim News on condition of anonymity said Gumbi was found guilty of dividing the party in the province and was suspended and another congress will be done once all the modalities have been put in place.
Chamisa presided over the chaotic Masvingo provincial congress last year and the Gumbi faction stood tall, much to the disgruntlement of a rival faction led by Simon Mupindu.
The win by the Gumbi faction and the disqualification of Tongai Matutu from the race left deep fissures in Masvingo province, prompting Chamisa to suspend the provincial executive a few months later.
“Masvingo province had become a big problem to the president (Chamisa). The congress was chaotic and the president thought that the rift would heal and people would move on together but the situation deteriorated.
“The president decided to suspend the entire Gumbi executive pending disciplinary hearing and the hearing was conducted. The National Executive Council (NEC) decided to keep Gumbi suspended and replace him with Marava pending a provincial congress,” he said.
MDC Alliance national organizing secretary Amos Chibaya, however, sang a different tune when TellZim News contacted him for a comment, saying Gumbi was not fired but was rather promoted to the national executive.
“What actually happened was a promotion. Gumbi is now in the national executive and he will have more power than he had. The national executive has more power and Gumbi will be serving from there,” said Chibaya.
On his part, Marava said he was yet to get official communication on his new assignment.
“I heard that the NEC assigned me to be the interim chairperson but I am yet to get official communication. I think it will be addressed at the meeting we are having this Sunday,” said Marava.