Khumalo, Chibaya clash over Bulawayo chairman

Innocent Mujeri

There was drama yesterday at MDC Alliance Bulawayo office when that party’s national chairperson, Thabitha Khumalo allegedly told the national organizing secretary, Amos Chibaya that he should not force the people of Bulawayo to continue working with embattled provincial chairperson James Sithole who is under fire for allegedly working with the rival MDC-T.

According to a source privy to the details, Chibaya drove to Bulawayo yesterday and convened a meeting where he directed all warring factions to smoke a peace pipe and bury their differences for the sake of that party. However, Chibaya’s suggestion was vehemently rejected by Khumalo who said the people of Bulawayo could no longer afford to be led by a “traitor” who was a known Douglas Mwonzora foot soldier.

“Chibaya came to Bulawayo and convened a meeting where he directed that people should work together. He said Sithole should continue as the chairperson and urged party members to respect and work with him. However, Chibaya’s suggestions were rejected by other members led by Khumalo who said Chibaya should not force Bulawayo people to work with a traitor. Khumalo told Chibaya to return to Harare if he could not endorse the removal of Sithole as was suggested by some members,” said the source.

According to the source, Chibaya tried to convince Khumalo that it was possible for the warring factions to work together as there was no concrete evidence that points to Sithole’s deviation from that party’s principles. However, Khumalo told Chibaya to adjourn the meeting so that they could have more time to discuss the issue.

Chibaya and Sithole allegedly spent the previous night discussing on what course of action to take and the results of their discussion is likely to be made public today

The source added that Khumalo had vowed that Sithole would not continue be the chairperson and she threw her weight supporting a parallel structure under the chairmanship of Matson Hlalo with Oscar Ncube as vice chairperson, Pastor Obert Manduna as the secretary, Edwin Ndlovu as vice secretary and Nicola Brown as the Treasurer.

The same source added that amid the drama between Chibaya and Khumalo, some pieces of juju believed to belong to Sithole were later discovered stashed at various places at the premise. The source further said the alleged juju might have been used on Chibaya to influence his support of Sithole.

Sithole is under fire for allegedly hobnobbing with the rival MDC T. Several attempts by party members to oust him hit a brick wall after he was shielded from suspension by that party’s co vice leader, Welshman Ncube who is battling it out with Khumalo for the control of the Matabeleland region.