HARARE – Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC on yesterday suspended Ian Kay after he suggested that the former Prime Minister, who lost the July 31 elections, should resign.
Kay along with other senior party officials such as exiled treasurer-general Roy Bennett have called for Tsvangirai to step down to allow the ex-majority party to reinvent itself.
The suspension of Kay comes at a time the party is in the process of whipping errant members into line after some of the party’s councillors defied directives to vote for certain individuals to be mayors in their municipalities, leaving critics to conclude that only black party members were being targeted.
But yesterday, Kay, who lost Marondera Central constituency to Zanu PF’s Ray Kaukonde, confirmed to the Daily News that Mashonaland East Province has suspended him pending a disciplinary hearing.
It could however, not be established if the same fate would befall Bennett.
Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora was unreachable for comment, but Kay confirmed his suspension.
“I got verbal communication yesterday to the effect that the province had suspended me,” Kay told the Daily News.
“They said they would also communicate the same message formally by way of a letter which I am yet to receive.”
Pressed to comment on the latest development which observers say shows that the labour party does not accommodate dissent, the former Marondera lawmaker said he would wait for the party to make a decision when they eventually call him for a disciplinary hearing.
“I would not want to say anything more about the suspension,” Kay said.
“I will wait for the party leadership to decide my fate when I appear before a disciplinary committee.”
Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said the party would do itself good by dealing with issues affecting the party than bury their heads in the sand.
“It is very unfortunate that the MDC is now exhibiting Zanu PF tendencies,” Nkomo said.
“Why should they suspend someone who expressed his opinion in a democratic party? All this smacks of factionalism and selective application of party rules as they have not done the same with Bennett. It is very worrying that anyone who questions Tsvangirai’s leadership is branded a Zanu PF mole.”
Kay is believed to be sympathetic to party secretary-general Tendai Biti, who is reportedly leading a putsch to oust Tsvangirai. However, Biti denies the claims.
Comparing politics to the game of football, Kay is facing charges for remarks he made to a local daily, likening Tsvangirai’s leadership to a rusty bolt which needs to be replaced.
“This is like a soccer team. If the coach continues losing, there is need for the technical board to sit down and deal with the issue,” Kay said.
“There is need to plan ahead before the ship sinks and if there is need to change the coach, then let it be. Or should I say it is like a rusty bolt? There is need for it to be removed and replaced with a new one rather than leave it like that,” he said.