By Gary Hlatshwayo
Gwanda, November 4, 2013 – Professor Welshman Ncube’s Movement for Democratic Change has plunged into a massive crisis following the resignation of the party’s key leaders in protest over the decision to appoint Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga to Parliament on proportional representation for Matabeleland South ahead of other women from the province.
Siyabonga Malandu-Ncube, the former Member of Parliament for Insiza North and national executive member of the MDC told Radio VOP that he was quitting the party over the imposition of Misihairabwi Mushonga to the people of Matabeleland South province, adding to the cocktail of troubles that is plaguing the opposition party since its massive defeat to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
“We are not saying she should step down from being the secretary general but we want her to relinquish her position and surrender it to the people who deserve it. How does a person from Glen Norah represent the people of Matabeleland South,” said Malandu-Ncube.
“Until such a time that she steps down I will not be a member of the party and have communicated that to Welshman Ncube. Her appointment is an insult to the women of Matabeleland South as it means they cannot be in parliament themselves,” Malandu-Ncube added.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s appointment to parliament has sparked outrage among party members in the province leading to the expulsion of Matabeleland South provincial Chairman Petros Mukwena last month.
Malandu-Ncube said the MDC had ceased to be democratic with the party being run by a few individuals.
“The national executive has not been sitting for quite a long time now and only a few individuals are making decisions in the party. We have tried to stand by Professor Ncube but it has been difficult working with him. I did not write any resignation letter because there are no structures to talk about,” said Malandu-Ncube.
MDC provincial administrator Lionel Denecker confirmed Malandu-Ncube’s resignation.
“He phoned the President demanding that he fires some members of the party and said he will reapply once his demands are met,” said Denecker.
“The list is long and includes the party’s spokesman and myself,” Denecker said in reference to Nhlanhla Dube.
Since its defeat in the July 31 harmonised polls to Zanu PF, the MDC has faced serious leadership challenges with some party leaders falling out of favour with Ncube over the poor performance of the party in the July 31 elections and the unilateral appointment of Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
Ncube’s MDC party failed to win a single seat in parliamentary elections, giving away its 10 seats it won in the 2008 elections despite claiming to command support around the country.
Qhubani Moyo, the party’s policy director and Sondon Mugaradziko, the secretary for international relations and external structures recently ditched the party while Alderman Charles Mpofu was fired on Friday for castigating Ncube in public. The party’s Pumula executive was also recently suspended.
Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, the party’s deputy secretary-general and former co-minister of National Healing and Reconciliation has also registered his pleasure over Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s appointment.