MDC headed for a split?

The MDC-N could be headed for a split following
the appointment of secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga
to represent Matabeleland South in the House of Assembly.

Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga

Petros Mukwena, the Matabeleland South Provincial Chairman, has
already been suspended over the issue. Other senior officials, Moses
Mzila-Ndlovu, Siyabonga Malandu Ncube and Patrick Dube, have raised
their concerns, saying it has the potential to split
the party.

Led by Welshman Ncube, the smaller MDC broke away from the
mainstream Morgan Tsvangirai led party, in 2005 over policy
differences. Initially headed by Arthur Mutambara, the party
changed its leadership in January 2011.

“Ncube is being so arrogant especially with regards to the issue of Misihairabwi-Mushonga. We have better female leaders in Matabeleland South and we wonder why he would impose someone all the way from Harare,” said a senior party source.
“This is not a split along tribal lines, it is to do with people who disregard the party’s principles.”

Other party officials told The Zimbabwean that provincial
 structures were in “tatters” following Mukwena’s suspension. Senior
officials wanted the seat to be filled by a resident of the
province, a request Ncube repeatedly turned down.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga was sworn in as a Member of Parliament on
September 3. Other party provinces have rallied behind Matabeleland
 South against the move. The party wanted Elizabeth
Ndlovu, the Women’s Assembly Chairperson, to take up the seat.

Sources said they saw the appointment as an act of political
corruption and favouritism and want the matter to be referred to the
party’s national council for a determination.

The party’s standing committee was reported to have refused to endorse
the decision when it was brought up last week.

“Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s appointment was improper. She was imposed.
The whole Matabeleland South province is against that,” said a party
 “Ncube has indicated that there would be no National Council meeting. But most provincial structures have indicated that we would go ahead without him and his lieutenants.”

Other officials blamed Ncube and Misihairabwi-Mushonga for appointing 
their own loyalists to the secretariat to maintain their hold on the

“The secretariat is full of relatives and friends of Priscilla,” said a source.
When contacted about the looming split, Kurauone Chihwayi, the deputy
 spokesperson, said: “If the people of Matabeleland feel aggrieved by
Misihairabwi’s appointment, they should formally approach the leadership and provide evidence that she should be recalled from

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