HARARE – Ian Kay, former Marondera MDC MP, faces a long winter in political wilderness after the MDC imposed a five-year ban on him for suggesting that Morgan Tsvangirai should resign.
Kay, who along with senior party officials such as exiled treasurer-general Roy Bennett have called for leadership renewal to allow the ex-majority party to reinvent itself, was first suspended by the party’s Mashonaland East provincial executive pending a hearing.
The hearing was finally conducted this week where a verdict to suspend Kay for five years was reached amid claims by his sympathisers that the decision would be annulled by the national executive as the province has no power to discipline a fellow provincial member.
Kay however, confirmed the suspension but said he wanted to look at the party’s constitution first to check if the province did not break the law.
“It is true I have been suspended by the province after I appeared before the disciplinary committee last week,” Kay said.
“I think the province has got the power to suspend me but I am not quite sure. I will only be able to make my next move when I get the facts right.”
Nelson Chamisa, the party’s organising secretary and spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora were unreachable for comment.
But Graham Nyahada, provincial spokesperson, insisted it was within the province’s mandate to suspend a fellow provincial executive council member.
Nyahada however, admitted the province had no power to expel a member saying such a decision had to be approved by the party’s national executive council first.
“We decided as a province to suspend Kay for five years for the comments he made to the press which we feel was at variance with what is expected of our members especially in the top echelons of the party like him,” he said.
“He will however, effectively serve three-and-a-half years only as the other one and half years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.”
Kay likened Tsvangirai’s leadership to a rusty bolt which needed to be replaced.
Last week, ex-Energy minister and national executive member Elias Mudzuri threw his hat into the ring indicating that he was ready to take over from the former Prime Minister after his term expires in 2016.