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MDC downplays defections

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MDC deputy president Edwin Mushoriwa yesterday put on a brave face saying the recent spate of resignations from the party were not a catalyst for total disintegration, adding that “only a few leaves have fallen, but the tree remains strong”.

Nqobile Bhebhe
Chief Reporter

The Welshman Ncube-led MDC has in recent weeks lost top officials who stepped down from posts while others have joined rival political parties, but Mushoriwa downplayed the resignations saying they were voluntary, as members are free to “associate and dissociate with the party”.

“MDC is a very strong party and its roots are too deep,” he said.

“Yes, we acknowledge that key members —Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Frank Chamunorwa and Nhlanhla Dube — have stepped down or resigned, but that will not have a serious impact.

“To clarify this I will use a tree analogy. MDC is like a big tree which has lost a few leaves after being blown by the wind or branches broken.”

Mushoriwa said the tree remained strong and the party continued to soldier on.

“We have suffered many predictions of collapsing in the past, for instance that we wouldn’t survive after 2008 elections,” he said.

“Guess what, we are still around, strong as ever and forging ahead with the unification process with MDC-Renewal.”

In February, Misihairabwi-Mushonga stepped down as secretary-general as her position had increasingly become untenable, but a fallout with the party accelerated when the MDC signed a unification deal with MDC-Renewal.

MDC-Renewal secretary-general Tendai Biti
MDC-Renewal secretary-general Tendai Biti

Misihairabwi-Mushonga reportedly supported MDC-Renewal secretary-general Tendai Biti for the presidency of the unified party ahead of her leader Ncube.

Her resignation was soon followed by that of deputy national chair Chamunorwa and national spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube last week and scores of youths joined Zapu.

MDC and MDC-Renewal signed a unification agreement and are now operating under the banner of United MDC.

Mushoriwa warned rival parties celebrating the MDC’s perceived demise, saying their joy would be short-lived.

Since the dismal July 31 2013 election performance, MDC has been rocked by internal turmoil and resignations.

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