Roy Bennett leaves MDC-T

SELF-exiled MDC-T treasurer-general Mr Roy Bennett yesterday said he was dumping his party and fired a broadside at his colleagues’ penchant for corruption saying they wanted to milk councils by seeking mayoral positions and getting into Parliament to propagate selfish interests.Mr Bennett spoke as MDC-T “rebels” who contested the elections as independent candidates announced that they were working on modalities of forming a new political party amid reports the embattled party was hurtling towards a major split.

Observers yesterday said the departure of Mr Bennett’ who acted as the donor point man would signal the demise of the MDC-T that subsisted on its umblical cord to London and Washington.

In a statement he issued yesterday, Mr Bennett who has set base in South Africa, took aim at his colleagues accusing them of being arrogant and seeking political fortunes.

“I have watched colleagues start with nothing and become wealthy, become arrogant become unapproachable embarrassed to speak out on anything to do with race or land, I sit forced into exile and never hear from any of my colleagues.

“I call them, they do not call back and the only time I ever hear from them is when they want something! This is the truth and I make no apologies. Now they have been defrauded and should stand on principle with the people and not participate in this shameful theft of our will, those that lost seats are falling over each other to stand for Mayor of Harare, Ceremonial Mayor!,

“It is time for me to step aside and wait and watch what develops. But for the true honest and decent Zimbabweans, when the Lord our God returns our country to us I will be there as always to serve, I need to take some time to make a life for my traumatised family I need to put my efforts into something that can give me an income to sustain my family.

I just wish things could have been different, what I do have left are my principles and integrity and friends, they are not trade-able under any circumstances,” said Mr Bennett.

“Those who won seats rushing into parliament for the small trappings of a twin cab and salary and what they can eat rather than stand with those that have been cheated and who’s lives will become more and more difficult who are honest good people just wanting a normal life, of jobs of affordable living of social services of development of electricity all the time, of clean accessible water simple but necessary things. “

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said Mr Bennett had not yet tendered his resignation letter to the party so he remained the party’s treasurer general.

“We have not yet received information to that effect.
“He has not said that to us. As far as we are concerned he remains our treasurer general.  The procedure is if someone wants to resigns, he writes a letter to the secretary general. He has not done that so he has not resigned,” he said.

Meanwhile the “rebels” spokesperson in an interview  with our Bulawayo Bureau yesterday, former MDC-T legislator for Magwegwe, Mr Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda, said the new party, which was yet to be named, would hold its first congress before the end of the year.

Mr Sibanda is one of the people who were fired from the MDC-T after they contested the elections as independent candidates in protest against what they said was rigging and tribalism in the party’s primary elections.

“We have members that include senior MDC-T people who are not happy about the path the party is taking. We also have people from other political parties who share our vision.

“At the moment, we cannot reveal who they are as we are waiting for them to resign first. We are also waiting for the outcome of the election dispute in court to make our strategic move. We shall settle on a name for the party at the congress,” said Mr Sibanda.

He reiterated calls for Mr Tsvangirai and his standing committee to resign, saying those who heeded the call would be “rehabilitated” and absorbed into the new party.

“With President Tsvangirai, we would welcome him to the new party because most of the things that went wrong in the MDC-T happened without his knowledge. If members of the party accept him, with reasons, we can make him a ceremonial president and later, a Prime Minister in a new government if we win in 2018,” said Mr Sibanda.

He said funding for the new party was wholly indigenous.
“As long as we have human resources, there is no problem about funding. We are networking with businesspeople and consulting Zimbabweans locally and in the Diaspora about the way forward,” said Mr Sibanda.

The former legislator said independent candidates who broke away from MDC-T just before the elections formed the nucleus of the new                        party.

“When we stood as independents, we were just making a statement to the party leadership that things were not going right in the party.
‘‘Very soon we will all be coming out in the open. It is the standing committee that is to blame for most of this mess as they failed to uphold the party’s democratic constitution during the primary elections, leading to discontent among members,” he said.

Mr Sibanda is on record saying MDC founder members like him had been kicked out of the party and replaced by “quislings”.
MDC-T standing committee members are Mr Tsvangirai, his deputy Ms Thokozani Khupe, national chairperson Mr Lovemore Moyo, vice-chairperson Mr Morgen Komichi, Mr Tendai Biti, the secretary-general, and his deputy Mr Tapiwa Mashakada.

The other members are Mr Roy Bennett, the treasurer-general, Mr Elton Mangoma, the deputy treasurer-general, Mr Nelson Chamisa the national organising secretary, with Mr Abednico Bhebhe, his deputy, Mr Douglas Mwonzora, the secretary for information and publicity.

Ms Theresa Makone is the chairperson of the Women’s Assembly and Mr Solomon Madzore leads the Youth Assembly.

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