THE Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC has reportedly made a climb-down on attempts to fire its proportional representation legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga after they failed to make a case against the former secretary general.

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The party’s youth and women assemblies two weeks ago passed resolutions calling for the expulsion of Misiharabwi-Mushonga over allegations of influencing mass resignations by members of the troubled organisation to join other parties.

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This was after former Gwanda mayor Lionel De Necker and fellow national executive member Sibongile Mgijima resigned from the party a few weeks after former spokesperson Joshua Mhambi also left the party.

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Party sources claim the fresh attempts to fire Misihairabwi-Mushonga stem from reports that the former deputy chairperson Frank Chamunorwa, who quit the MDC in February, attended the Tendai Biti led People’s Democratic Party’s recent congress.

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Chamunorwa, whose truck was allegedly mobbed by party youths two weeks ago demanding that he hands back a vehicle that he got from the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, left the party in protest over allegations that he was part of a “gang of four” that had rebelled against Ncube.

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The other alleged members included Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who in the same month resigned from her post as secretary general, former spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube and former chairperson Goodrich Chimbaira who both later resigned from the party.

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“We’re convinced beyond doubt that Misihairabwi -Mushonga is the chief architect of disturbances in the party, including choreographed media resignations in recent months,” women’s assembly chairperson Lindiwe Mlilo, said last week.

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“We’ve watched for a while now, even been in a state of denial, as our former hero has masterfully tried to destroy the party from within while doing all she can to strengthen our opponents.”

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The women’s assembly resolution followed another by the youth wing calling for Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s sacking.

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MDC national spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi last week said the party’s presidency had requested that the chairperson of the council of elders Paul Themba Nyathi and secretary Esaph Mdlongwa hold consultations with the two wings and Misihairabwi-Mushonga and come up with resolution and recommendations on the matter.

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However, Nyathi on Sunday professed ignorance on the developments saying he was keeping a low profile from politics.

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Mdlongwa on Tuesday also professed ignorance on the matter asking, “Who said that and when is it supposed to happen? I was out of the country, I’ll have to find out.”

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Kurauone was unreachable for comment but party sources said the initial plan was to fire Misiharabwi-Mushonga but the plan suffered a setback as there was no evidence to pin her.

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“This whole confusion involving the council of elders’ ignorance of the entire matter indicates a climb down from the initial attempts to fire Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

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“Initially, she was meant to be taken before a disciplinary hearing but there’s no evidence to pin Misihairabwi-Mushonga on the allegations levelled against her.

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“To avoid embarrassment, the party, instead of just abandoning the matter, sent it to the council of elders to die there” said the source.

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“The direction by the presidency that the council of elders handles the matter is a tactful climb down because that’s just an advisory body without powers to fire. If there was a strong case against Misihairabwi-Mushonga, she would have been taken for a hearing and fired if found guilty.”

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The MDC has been fragmenting since its dismal performance in the 2013 elections with analysts saying it was fast sinking into oblivion and would be a non factor in the 2018 polls. – The Chronicle

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