MDC-M Supporters Petition Bhebhe to Crossover to MDC-T

NKAYI – The MDC-M faction supporters in Nkayi have reportedly petitioned their MP, Abednico Bhebhe, to resign from the party and join the rival MDC-T faction, after some senior MDC-M party officials blocked his appointment to cabinet by Tsvangirai last month.\r\n

Tsvangirai had appointed Bhebhe as the Minister of Water Resources, a development which apparently irked MDC-M officials and resulted in the dropping of Bhebhe’s name from Tsvangirai’s cabinet list.

MDC-M’s Nkayi supporters on Wednesday held a meeting in Malandu East ward, 80 kilometres from Nkayi centre, where a petition was presented to Bhebhe.

"We are very disturbed with what happened to our MP. Morgan Tsvangirai had appointed him Minister and some officials in the MDC-M party, for selfish reasons, decided to block the appointment. We therefore feel that Bhebhe should leave the party and join the MDC-T party," said one of the organizers of the Malandu meeting.

When reached for comment Bhebhe laughed, saying, “Who told you that? You see there are people who think they know politics when they know nothing about politics. We want to show them how political games are played," he said, refusing to elaborate although he could neither confirm or deny the Malandu meeting.

Bhebhe said he was currently conducting a series of meetings in the constituency.

“I am currently holding meetings in all wards in my constituency. I am only left with two wards and when I am through with the ward meetings, I intend to hold a big meeting on the 16th of April which will coincide with my victory celebrations," he said.

Bhebhe has had a frosty relationship with his party bosses since the election of Lovemore Moyo as the speaker of parliament. The MDC-M leadership accuses Bhebhe of masterminding the election of Moyo as the speaker, ahead of Paul Themba Nyathi, the faction’s director of elections. Bhebhe has however denied the charges.

Meanwhile the leader of the Federal Democratic Union, (FDU), Paul Siwela, has called on Britain and America to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe, arguing that nothing has changed in the country since the formation of the inclusive government a month ago.

Siwela said this while addressing journalists at a one day Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) organised workshop in Bulawayo Friday.

"We call upon America and Britain to maintain the status quo because this government will not last up to December 2008. Tsvangirai is just a senior minister while Mugabe is both the head of state and government in this arrangement," said Siwela.

Siwela said the country needed to change its present name.

“If this country is to heal and recover from its political and economic mess, the name Zimbabwe should be dropped. The name has connotations of violence, misery, poverty and lawlessness. As FDU we have already proposed a new name for the country and we will unveil it at the appropriate time," he said

The FDU leader also accused the MDC of abandoning its supporters and joining Zanu PF in plundering the country’s resources.

"The MDC leadership is now comfortable with the perks which they are getting in government. They are now enjoying the luxury of being chauffeur driven in top of the range Mercedes Benz cars while civil servants are receiving ridiculous allowances. If they had the interests of the people at heart, they would have rejected those luxuries," said Siwela.

He said his party would contest in the next harmonized elections and will introduce a federal system in the country if elected.

"When we are elected into power, we want to change the name Masvingo province to Makaranga land. Every province in this country is named after its tribe and we do not see why Masvingo should be an exception,’ he said.