MDC internal bickering enters stage 2

Christophers Makaza

The MDC led by Nelson Chamisa goes into stage 2 of internal strife as the opposition party’s provincial assemblies nominate national executive representatives.

The internal wrangles are evidently noticeable in Bulawayo and Masvingo provinces where parallel structures are being put in place.

Recently Bulawayo Provincial Assembly convened a meeting to select provincial representatives and the meeting ended amid chaos as factions led by ousted provincial chair, Gift Banda and that of current Chairperson, James Sithole fought running battles with the party’s security personnel before the nomination exercise began in a bid to influence the nomination process.

The Banda faction accused the Sithole faction of rigging the election. It is alleged that the Banda faction hired youths who fought running battles with the party`s security to the extent that the meeting was held behind closed doors while the hired youths sang derogatory songs outside.

Banda faction member who is also Nketa constituency National Assembly member, Phelela Masuku said the Sithole faction wanted to side-line them from the National Executive Council (NEC).

“This illegal Provincial Assembly wants to elbow us from NEC. We will not tire and we are going to establish a parallel structure better than theirs,” he said.

Entumbane, Emakhandeni National Assembly member, Dingiliswe Tshuma accused Sithole of being a tribalist.

“Sithole is not only side-lining our faction but the Ndebele people as a whole. If you look at the nominated NEC representative, you will agree with me that it is very unfair to the Ndebele people,” he said.

The selected NEC representatives for the main wing quarter are Desmond Makaza, Gedion Shoko and Tinashe Muchemwa, all of whom are of the Shona origin. This scenario also characterises the youth wing where two of the selected three NEC members are of Shona origin.

The two are Takunda Madzama and Cardone Mapako. National Youth Assembly Chairman, Obey Sithole who was present during the Bulawayo nomination exercise, accused the Banda faction of failing to accept defeat adding that violence was tarnishing the image of the party and that he was going to report the case to the national leadership. 

Whilst the drama was unfolding in Bulawayo, Masvingo had its own drama pitting Provincial Chairperson, James Gumbi led faction and the losing Provincial Chair aspirant, Tongai Matutu faction. 

The Gumbi faction had barred the Matutu faction from entering the nomination venue. This angered the Matutu faction which forced their way in, singing derogatory songs against Gumbi and the newly elected MDC Vice President lynette Karenyi-Kore. Karenyi Kore, however, later allowed them in. The nomination exercise was later done but they failed to nominate youth representatives because the Matutu faction said the Provincial Youth Assembly led by Kudakwashe Bhadharai was illegitimate.