Sikhala has been suspended from the party for conduct likely to bring the party into disrepute after he organised a non sanctioned political rally in St Marys in which he called for Arthur Mutambara the faction ’s President to resign.
A party source told our reporter last night, “Sikhala has since been suspended in a letter signed by the party Secretary General Welshman Ncube and hand-dilvered at his home in St Mary’s and the announcement will be made on Monday or Tuesday. He will be on suspension pending a disciplinary hearing that would be conducted within a certain period of time according to the party’s constitution”.
The decision to suspend Sikhala was taken by the party’s national disciplinary committee which is chaired by lawyer Lyson Mlambo.
Sikhala was asked to handover all party property and asked not to speak on behalf of the party while suspended pending dismissal. He was also threatened with law suits by individual party members.
However, it is believed Sikhala has a large backing in the embattled MDC-M, with Paul Themba Nyathi and many senior party officials from Matebeleland, including sitting MPs.
Sikhala on Friday addressed a rally in St Marys attended by an estimated 500 people at which he accused the MDC-M leadership of taking the party as if its own private property. He accused party leader Mutambara of not consulting the grassroots and said the majority of the MDC-M membership were disappointed with the conduct of Mutambara,who is also the Deputy Prime Minister.
Sikhala later had an interview with SW Africa’s Lace Guma in which he expressed his disappointment with Mutambara’s leadership and accused him of destroying the party.
“Arthur Mutambara…has put the name of the party into disrepute through his reckless utterances and that we are now taking that disciplinary hearing to the public for them to make their own verdict to see whether this man still deserves to lead us or that the party deserves new leadership that will be able to shape and take themselves to the promised land where we have been fighting for change”,Sikhala told the radio station.
Job Sikhala was a popular student leader in the late 90’s a founder member of the MDC, he was first elected to parliament in 2000 and served two terms. When the MDC split into two factions he joined the faction led by Welshman Ncube which elected Arthur Mutambara as its president.