Job Sikhala is the new MDC-S President

HARARE – JOB Sikhala, the former legislator for St Mary’s, has declared himself the new president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-M), throwing the opposition party into confusions.

The so-called palace coup within the MDC-M came at a time Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara was in Uganda earlier this week together with President Robert Mugabe and co-Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe on a tour of duty.

A section of the party’s constitution provides that members can call for an extraordinary congress if they are unhappy with their leadership where a vote of no confidence can be passed.

Alternatively, they can also cause the party’s national council to relieve whoever they have lost faith in of his or her duties.

The MDC-M security chief vowed on Tuesday that there was no formula for the removal of the party’s leadership.

Sikhala and a number of MDC-M legislators have been on the warpath with Mutambara over the Deputy Prime Minister’s leadership style.

Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara had retaliated by suspending members of his national executive and lawmakers Abednico Bhebhe (Nkayi South), Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East), Norman Mpofu (Bulilima East) and commercial farmer Alex Goosen for undermining his authority.

"There is no formula when one is at war like this one. We have suspended or rather thrown out the constitution for now. So whatever constitutional issues that are raised, fall away. The war cry is that Mutambara has to go. I am warning each and every one of our members that Mutambara is no longer part and parcel of the revolution we started in 1999," said Sikhala.

"I have taken over total control of the party. I was given the mandate by party supporters countrywide after they noticed that the party had become an appendage of ZANU-PF through Mutambara. Mutambara has lost it.

"Our actions have been endorsed by the majority of supporters and structures," Sikhala said in an interview with

MDC-M spokesperson Edwin Mushoriwa on Tuesday warned that the move by Sikhala was not only unconstitutional, but dangerous to democracy.

"People are allowed to say what they want," Mushoriwa said.

"It’s a dangerous statement to claim that they have taken over the leadership of the party.

"If people are unhappy with the leadership, they can call for an extraordinary congress accordingly and the matter will be resolved there or alternatively, they can cause the national council to relieve the accused persons of their duties if found guilty. The Financial Gazett

"So for Sikhala and company to claim that they have taken over the leadership of the party is not true.

"If they believe they can takeover unconstitutionally, then that is dangerous for all the forces of democracy."

The party’s Mashonaland East provincial chairperson, Shupikayi Mandaza, and Taurai Magayi, who claimed to be leading Chitungwiza province, threw their weight behind Mutambara’s ouster.

"I don’t believe Mutambara should continue leading the party because he has lost the party’s ideology," Mandaza said. (The Financial Gazette)