MDC row gets nasty as faction insist Mutambara is leader

The fractured MDC led by newly-elected president Welshman Ncube is headed for a showdown over property ownership after the faction headed by former national chairman Joubert Mudzumwe indicated it would compel Ncube to produce an inventory of the party’s property it claims it is entitled to.

Mudzumwe walked out of a national executive meeting he was chairing ahead of the party’s congress last weekend alongside several members, including the women’s assembly chairperson Hilda Sibanda, deputy national organising secretary Morgan Changamire, secretary for education Tsitsi Dangarembga and national youth chairperson Costa Chipadza.

They convened at another hotel where they announced they would not attend the congress accusing Ncube of violating the party’s constitution to elbow out Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara from the helm of the party.

Mudzumwe said his group would continue to regard Mutambara as the leader of the party regardless of the results of the congress while announcing the elevation of Nomalanga Khumalo to the vice-presidency.

Mudzumwe said they would hold a separate congress where a new leadership would be ushered in.

Changamire said Ncube should produce an inventory of the party’s property and financial statements before assuming any power.

“We want Welshman (Ncube) to produce audited financial statements and a list of the property which the party has because he has been abusing party property. That property belongs to us and we can prove legally that his congress was unconstitutional,” said Changamire.

“Before we hold our congress, we will seek to address the issue of the party property. Everything must be declared and we will then take it from there. We want accountability and justice.”

Changamire justified his claim to the party’s property arguing that they were the real MDC since Ncube and his backers had attended an unconstitutional meeting.

“In fact they expelled themselves from the party by attending an illegal congress,” he said. 

Ncube, however, said his party would not entertain the request from Mudzumwe and his supporters. He dismissed Changamire and said the clique was attempting to justify the “theft” of party vehicles by Mudzumwe.

“They walked out of a full national council meeting. Actually it was seven people with the support of 106 other people and it’s surprising that they are claiming that they are genuine members of the party. Imagine if Dynamos was playing a soccer match with 11 players on the field and two decide that they have had enough then they come back and say they are the real Dynamos. It’s so absurd,” he said.

“Besides, the party constitution is clear that all property belongs to the party and not individuals. If you move away you don’t move away with the party property, and even if the party dissolves, which is not the case here, there is a clear way of how the property is disposed.”

Ncube said the group was making noise to justify the fact that Mudzumwe has been holding on to some party vehicles.

Mutambara lost the MDC-M presidency to Ncube over the weekend. He had however indicated he would not contest for any position at the congress.

Mutambara, who said he would remain a soldier of the party, called for unity and said the party should seek ways to accommodate those who had boycotted the congress. – NewsDay