Crisis ridden MDC-N convenes urgent meeting as split looms

HARARE,- Crisis ridden MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube meets in Harare on Sunday to discuss among other issues, the decision by disgruntled former members who have dragged the party to court to challenge the legality of its congress held two weeks ago.\r\n

Party insiders told Radio Vop that the national working council of the MDC-M, which unceremoniously ousted its previous leader and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in a bloodless coup two weeks ago, would move to take disciplinary action against disillusioned members who attempted to disrupt the congress.

The group, led by the party’s former national chairperson Joubert Mudzumwe, petitioned the party leadership on the eve of the congress citing irregularities in the way the congress was convened. The group is challenging the election of Ncube saying delegates invited for the congress were allegedly cherry-picked to endorse the former secretary general’s presidential bid.

In its petition to Ncube and other top leaders of the party, the group also alleged misuse of party funds by the leadership it also accused of dictatorial tendencies. On Monday the disillusioned members, including former chairperson of the party’s Women’s Assembly Hilda Sibanda, filed an urgent court action in the Harare High Court challenging the legality of the congress which elected Ncube.

The group still maintains that Mutambara is the legitimate leader of the party, a development which has created despondency in the faction amid fears of a looming split, reminiscent of the infamous 2005 split from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The same sources added that the party’s national working council would also deliberate on deployment of officials in the coalition government as it emerged that supporters of Ncube were pressuring him to remove Mutambara from the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

Ncube, by virtue of being elected the leader of the MDC-M, is now the principal of the party in the coalition government, alongside President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai. Nhlanhla Dube, the MDC-M newly appointed spokesperson confirmed that a national working meeting of the party has been slated for Sunday.

“Yes, there’s a meeting of the national standing committee on Sunday,”said Dube. “It’s the first meeting after congress. It’s a strategic formulating meeting. The focus is on how the party will collectively move forward and implement resolutions to the last congress,” he added. – Radio Vop