Another Faction In MDC Claims Control Of Party
HARARE – Infighting within the Arthur Mutambara-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party continues to escalate.
Yet another faction led by Mashonaland Central’s national executive member, Edwin Dzambara has emerged, declaring itself the legitimate leadership of the beleaguered party.
Dzambara claims he is now the new secretary general of the party and has got the ball rolling by writing to Speaker of the House, Lovemore Moyo, advising him to ignore the contents of a letter written by Mutambara last month advising him to expel three of his MPs he had fired for alleged indiscipline.
The three are Nkayi South MP, Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East) and Norman Mpofu (Bulilima East).
The letter, written on an MDC letterhead, is entitled “Reversal of expulsion for honourable Abednico Bhebhe, honourable Njabuliso Mguni and honourable Norman Mpofu” and is dated 13 August, 2009.
It reads, “It has come to our attention that Professor Welshman Ncube (secretary general) has written letters to you purporting to fire and dismiss the above stated honourable members of parliament. “We advise that the letters are useless, meaningless and do not represent the views and position of our party. The national council of the party met to deliberate and dismiss the decision on the said matter in line with our constitution (section 12.4.1) on 13 August 2009 and refused to endorse the unconstitutional and procedural position that he and Professor Arthur Mutambara purport to have taken.”
The letter, which has been copied to South African President Jacob Zuma, among other recepients, further accuses Mutambara and Ncube of usurping the powers of the party’s national executive council by endorsing the expulsion of the rebel MPs.
“We are now advising you that as the sole and legitimate leadership of the MDC, we are withdrawing that letter forthwith,” the letter continues. Mr Speaker, Sir, please note that any legitimate communication from our formation will come only from myself as the acting secretary general of the party. Please stand guided accordingly.”
Dzambara’s letter was also copied to Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma, MDC-Mutambara chief whip, Edward Mkhosi; Zanu PF chief whip, Joram Gumbo and Innocent Gonese, chief whim of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC. The letter was also copied to the Bhebhe, Mguni and Mpofu.
Dzambara’s group is different from another faction being led by former St Mary’s legislator, Job Sikhala who last week declared himself the new leader of his party and went on to unveil eight members he claimed were provincial representatives of his new leadership.
Sikhala, who was addressing a press conference in Harare, accused Mutambara of siding with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF, claiming this was against the ideals of the MDC, which he said he founded with the sole purpose of fighting the long serving leader’s autocratic rule.
Sikhala also urged the Speaker of Parliament to ignore the expulsion of the three MDC legislators saying their expulsion was executed in violation of the party’s constitution.
Serious fissures within the smaller MDC, which has 10 MPs in parliament, started soon after the March 29, 2008 elections when Mutambara and Ncube agreed with Zanu PF to field a single candidate, Paul Themba Nyathi to contest the post of Speaker of Parliament against the Tsvangirai led MDC’s Lovemore Moyo.
The MPs embarrassed their leaders by voting along with the other MDC.
As if not enough, Mutambara infuriated his colleagues in his party by nominating his deputy Gibson Sibanda, Ncube and deputy secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi, who all lost the March 29, 2008 parliamentary elections to take up ministerial posts in the new political dispensation.
Meanwhile, the robotics professor, who also lost to the mainstream MDC’s Collin Gwiyo in the Zengeza West consituency, secured the post of Deputy Prime Minister.