Mutambara's days in politics are numbered as Bulawayo endores Ncube

The MDC-M power struggles have intensified with Bulawayo province at the weekend endorsing party secretary-general Welshman Ncube to stand for the post of president at the elective congress next year.

Ncube is certain to face incumbent president Arthur Mutambara for the high-pressure job.

The congress would be held between January and February next year.

NewsDay can reveal that the Bulawayo provincial council held a meeting at the party offices on Saturday where it was unanimously resolved that Ncube should ascend to the party’s top post.

Sources said the agreed structure will see Ncube take over as president and Edwin Mushoriwa will deputise him while Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga will become the party’s secretary-general.

The meeting was attended by members of the party’s main wing, the women’s wing, the youth and 12 district chairpersons in the province.

At the same meeting a slogan, “One Bulawayo-One President”, was adopted.

“It was agreed at the meeting that Welshman Ncube be recommended to stand for the province. Our first choice would have been Gibson Sibanda but it is unfortunate that he is now late,” impeccable sources said.

Party sources said the move should not be seen as tribal as the MDC was once united under the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai and currently under Mutambara.

They said nominations should be on merit and in this instance it was felt Ncube was the most deserving candidate.

“The Bulawayo province has the support of eight other provinces. The other provinces have agreed to support the nominee that will come from Bulawayo,” the sources said.

MDC-M Bulawayo province information and publicity secretary Edwin Ndlovu confirmed that the party held a provincial council meeting at the weekend.

He, however, said the meeting was not about nominating candidates for the next congress but a preparatory meeting to ensure the smooth running of the congress.

“We discussed the forthcoming congress, on how best it could be held,” said Ndlovu.

“It is, however, not criminal for anyone to harbour ambitions of leadership. We are yet to get the mandate to nominate the candidate.”

He said the party discussed the current debate on the holding of general elections.

“It was agreed that district chairpersons should go and mobilise the grassroots given the unpredictability of MDC-T and Zanu PF,” said Ndlovu.

“The party has to be ready at all times in case the two parties call for elections as they have already hinted.”

Mutambara is on record saying he was not worried about the threat posed by Ncube, who is gunning for the party’s presidency at a congress slated for next year.

Mutambara was headhunted by Ncube to lead the smaller MDC formation following the split in 2005, but his flirtation with politics appears to be nearing an end with the new power struggles in his party.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Ncube said he was unaware he had been nominated by the province.

“It’s not true that I have been nominated by the province. What you could be having are members of the provincial executive speaking out their mind,” he said.

Ncube said according to the party’s constitution he and Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the party’s treasurer, were not eligible to hold the same posts as they had served their time.

“Everyone is available to be redeployed to any position. I am available to be nominated for any position. I, however, would not support an amendment to the constitution in order to keep some of us in our current positions as that would not be good for democracy that we are trying to advance,” Ncube said.

Insiders at the provincial meeting said members were unanimous that Ncube should be the province’s candidate for president.

“The decision to back Ncube was endorsed by the whole province and what remains now is to forward the proposals at the party congress next year and Bulawayo has struck a deal with eight provinces that will support Bulawayo’s nomination,” said the source.- News Day