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By Zvamaida Murwira
MDC-T leader Mr Nelson Chamisa’s camp has moved in to purge senior officials linked to ousted vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe after the opposition party suspended Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Mr Piniel Denga. Mr Denga, who has been a legislator for Mbare during the Seventh Parliament, was suspended by the party’s provincial executive for allegedly denigrating Mr Chamisa, among other allegations.
There were chaotic scenes on Wednesday last week at Harvest House in Harare during a provincial executive meeting to consider eligibility of candidates for the forthcoming harmonised elections as Mr Denga was barred from signing application forms for aspiring candidates.
Sources within the party said Mashonaland East Province suspended Mr Denga last weekend and party provincial secretary Mr Herbert Zinyama has since written a letter to the national executive.
Some of the allegations against Mr Denga included denigrating Mr Chamisa through messages allegedly sent on social media, removing party logo on party vehicles and abuse of party funds meant for polling agents in 2013.
Sources said Mr Denga allegedly communicated with fellow party members denigrating Mr Chamisa ,whom, according to sources referred to him as “Cobra”, Mr Chamisa’s nickname
The provincial executive met last week at Harvest House, to consider CVs submitted by party members from the province and tempers flared during the meeting as Mr Denga refused to recognise the suspension.
Sources that attended the meeting said there were heated exchanges between Mr Denga and provincial executive led by Mr Zinyama as the former defied the suspension and signed some nomination forms for applicants.
Some provincial executive members tried to bar Mr Denga, whom they said no longer had authority to represent the party since he was on suspension pending expulsion.
Mr Denga declined to comment when contacted by The Herald.
He immediately switched off his phone.
Mr Zinyama confirmed the development, but declined to give further details referring questions to the national executive. Party national deputy chairperson, Mr Morgan Komichi confirmed receiving the letter of suspension, but said the national organising committee would meet to consider the letter.
“A provincial executive has no power to suspend a fellow member. They can only recommend. It is the national organising committee that would meet either to validate the suspension or nullify it. That has not yet been done. As a result, Mr Denga should remain in office until a decision has been made,” said Mr Ko- michi.
A provincial executive member, however, said it was no longer tenable to work with Mr Denga.
“If they say he remains in office until a meeting by the national organising committee, who will he be working with in the meantime. We cannot be forced to work with someone whom we believe our relationship with is no longer sustainable,” he said.