MDC official says party is unfazed by resignations

An official at the Welshman Ncube-led MDC has dismissed suggestions that the party is disintegrating following several resignations from the party in a space of two months.

Qhubani Moyo, who was the MDC’s director for policy, was the first to resign early October, and his subsequent comments in praise of ZANU PF’s policies have led to speculation that he is headed in that party’s direction.

Since then, two other senior officials have also terminated their party membership, citing varying reasons.

On Sunday former Insiza South legislator Siyabonga Malandu Ncube revealed that he was quitting the MDC because the party had failed to address the thorny issue of Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s secondment to the National Assembly on a Matebeleland South ticket.

Malandu is one of several senior MDC officials, including the suspended Petros Mukwena, who have been calling for Mushonga’s ouster saying her selection to the National Assembly was irregular as she is not from the region.

On Monday the Southern Eye newspaper reported that the MDC secretary for international relations, Sondon Mugaradziko, had also resigned on “purely personal” grounds.

Mugaradziko said he needed time to concentrate on his “family, business” plus his studies.

These resignations as well as the suspensions over the Mushonga issue have led to reports that all is not well within the “Green Team”, with the Daily News even suggesting that Ncube had quit and retreated to his farm.

However, the party’s spokesman Nhlanhla Dube said the resignations were a healthy and normal part of politics.

Dube said: “As a political party we understand that membership is by choice and it’s not cast in stone. As such, people are allowed to change their mind and their political direction. That’s all part of the democratic process.

“When, as a political entity you go through a difficult period of an election loss at the level that we experienced, you will get people responding in different ways.

“Some might be so hard-hit that they don’t feel that they can carry on, while some may want to take a sabbatical until their batteries are recharged, and as the MDC we accept that as part of politics,” Dube added.

The MDC suffered a heavy defeat in the July 31st election which was won by ZANU PF amid evidence of blatant rigging by the Mugabe-led party.

The MDC spokesman however said Malandu was yet to resign from the party, although he understood that the former MP had spoken to the party’s president.

Dube said it was unfortunate that the press was exaggerating and giving the impression that the party was facing demise.

“It’s not a train smash. Such things happen in all struggles for freedoms. When one cadre leaves for whatever reason others pick up from where he would have left and carry on from there.”

Following the widely reported problems in Matebeleland South, Dube indicated that starting this past weekend, the party’s president will be meeting with the provincial leadership in a bid to arrive at constructive solutions “on all issues pertaining to the province”.

The other MDC formation led by former Morgan Tsvangirai has also experienced its fair share of the post-election discontent, with several senior officials and councillors being fired, suspended, or disciplined for defying party orders. – SW Radio Africa

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