MATABELELAND South MDC Women’s Assembly chairperson Elizabeth Ndlovu, who had initially been earmarked for the Umzingwane district National Assembly seat under the women’s quota system, has charged that party leader Welshman Ncube is “a very divisive person” and vowed to quit the party by end of October if the leadership does not explain why she was removed from the party’s list.
Ndlovu topped the original party list for proportional representation, but was dropped under unclear circumstances and replaced by secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s subsequent inclusion on the party’s Matabeleland South list has been a source of division in the MDC with some senior party members accusing the law professor of working against devolution which the party fought to be included in the Constitution.
Ndlovu told Southern Eye on Monday that she was “extremely” bitter at her treatment by the leadership.
“What transpired pertaining to the women’s party list is shocking,” she said.
“Everyone in the province knew that I was on top of the list, but I was removed under unclear circumstances. I was robbed by the leadership, which is why they must come to the province and give a detailed explanation of what they did.
“The refusal simply shows that Ncube is a divisive person — someone who seriously lacks leadership qualities,” Ndlovu said.
Ndlovu said if no satisfactory explanation was given by the end of October, the women’s assembly in Matabeleland South would resign en masse.
“MDC, especially Ncube, will never have followers in Matabeleland South . . . We feel cheated in that someone outside of the region is representing us in Parliament,” Ndlovu said.
Calls have been mounting for Misihairabwi-Mushonga to be recalled.
Losing Nketa candidate, Charles Mpofu, said calls to get rid of Misihairabwi-Mushonga were genuine and logical and the leadership was fully aware that her selection was “not a collective decision and is now embarrassed to reverse it”.
However, MDC national spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said the party did not block any member from airing their grievances, but proper channels had to be followed.
“Firstly, he (Mpofu) is not spokesperson for Matabeleland South,” Dube said. “Secondly the party offices for Bulawayo Province, to which he belongs, are not at the Southern Eye. Thirdly, had he cared to follow party process and procedure, he would have been aware by now that Matabeleland South leaders by their own statements confirm that they have sought and got the audience of the party president regarding the matter.
“Fourthly, the party will always attend to its internal dynamics using internal laid out procedures. Finally, all party cadres know the route, procedure and process to follow when and if they are aggrieved. No one in the party will or has been denied the right to be heard,” Dube added.
The MDC performed dismally in the July 31 general polls securing only four seats — two in the Senate and two in the National Assembly — courtesy of the proportional representation system.
This was a far cry from the 10 House of Assembly and six Senate seats the party won in the 2008 polls.