OPPOSITION MDC leader Welshman Ncube faces an internal revolt after a group of disgruntled party members petitioned him demanding that he steps down over a litany of allegations including financial impropriety and dictatorship.
by Nqobile Bhebhe
More than 60 party members recently signed a petition demanding that Ncube steps down as MDC leader, claiming he was inaccessible and intolerant to divergent views.
In a 11-point petition chronicling their displeasure, the members said “our political future is not in your hands anymore”.
“On our own behalf, the undersigned members, and the members drawn from different levels of the party structures have chosen to confront the problems in our party the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),” read the petition.
“We, however, note with sadness your reluctance to co-operate with our emissary, Esaph Mdlongwa on an issue meant to save the party. We also find it politically prudent to hand you Mr President this petition document.”
The petitioners accused Ncube of being “directly and indirectly responsible for most of the problems the party is currently facing”.
“It is our considered view that your arrogance has made you dismiss even the most genuine efforts made in the interest of the party,” the petition added.
“We note with great sadness that during your tenure as president of the MDC party, you presided over a party whose membership continues to dwindle at an alarming rate”.
They also held Ncube responsible for “the co-option of new members without any known membership history in the party who have found their way straight into the national executive of the party”.
“Your explanation that you are picking on particular skills, which the party does not have, is irresponsible and unfortunate. How on earth do you hope to be the president of Zimbabwe if you cannot groom into leadership those that you have worked with since the founding of the party?”
They also claimed that there was no transparency and accountability in the handling of party funds.
“Our patience with you was informed by our optimism that one day you could see the need to change. We sadly realise that your unbridled conceit obscures your view of reality in the party,” the group said.
“We take this important decision to ask you to step down from the presidency of the MDC party and allow someone else to lead us. We sincerely hope you will in your political wisdom choose to comply with this demand and that you will accordingly inform the party organs of that decision.”
But MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi dismissed the petition as inconsequential and labelled the majority of the signatories “street kids”, before dismissing it as a non-event.
“We are currently not sure whether the petition is for us or someone else because only five members are members of our party, the other 58 are street kids, who were roped in to sweeten the satanic verses,” he said.
“They have used a foolish way to advance their agenda because the president was not elected by the five secessionists. Welshman Ncube is a product of congress and can only be removed by congress.
“Moses Mzila Ndlovu is a rebel without a cause that wanted to use criminal methods to unseat a constitutionally elected MDC leader.
“It is the duty of the secretary-general, in consultation with the president, to call for party meetings, not the president. It is also the responsibility of the SG to fundraise for party activities.”
Of late, the party’s top hierarchy has been hit by a spate of resignations, with Ncube’s former lieutenants accusing him of making unilateral decisions without consulting his executive.