Petros Mukwena, the Matabeleland South Provincial Chairman, hasÃ¢â‚¬Â¨already been suspended over the issue. Other senior officials, MosesÃ¢â‚¬Â¨Mzila-Ndlovu, Siyabonga Malandu Ncube and Patrick Dube, have raisedÃ¢â‚¬Â¨their concerns, saying it has the potential to splitÃ¢â‚¬Â¨the party.
Led by Welshman Ncube, the smaller MDC broke away from theÃ¢â‚¬Â¨mainstream Morgan Tsvangirai led party, in 2005 over policyÃ¢â‚¬Â¨differences. Initially headed by Arthur Mutambara, the partyÃ¢â‚¬Â¨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.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨“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 provincialÃ¢â‚¬Â¨ structures were in “tatters” following Mukwena’s suspension. SeniorÃ¢â‚¬Â¨officials wanted the seat to be filled by a resident of theÃ¢â‚¬Â¨province, a request Ncube repeatedly turned down.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga was sworn in as a Member of Parliament onÃ¢â‚¬Â¨September 3. Other party provinces have rallied behind MatabelelandÃ¢â‚¬Â¨ South against the move. The party wanted ElizabethÃ¢â‚¬Â¨Ndlovu, the Women’s Assembly Chairperson, to take up the seat.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Ã¢â‚¬Â¨Sources said they saw the appointment as an act of politicalÃ¢â‚¬Â¨corruption and favouritism and want the matter to be referred to theÃ¢â‚¬Â¨party’s national council for a determination.
The party’s standing committee was reported to have refused to endorseÃ¢â‚¬Â¨the decision when it was brought up last week.
“Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s appointment was improper. She was imposed.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨The whole Matabeleland South province is against that,” said a partyÃ¢â‚¬Â¨official.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨ “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 Ã¢â‚¬Â¨their own loyalists to the secretariat to maintain their hold on theÃ¢â‚¬Â¨party.
“The secretariat is full of relatives and friends of Priscilla,” said a source.Ã¢â‚¬Â¨When contacted about the looming split, Kurauone Chihwayi, the deputyÃ¢â‚¬Â¨ spokesperson, said: “If the people of Matabeleland feel aggrieved byÃ¢â‚¬Â¨Misihairabwi’s appointment, they should formally approach the leadership and provide evidence that she should be recalled fromÃ¢â‚¬Â¨ Parliament”.Post published in: News