MDC seeks to close ranks in Byo

MDC T supporters disperse after a rally in Jimila, Tsholotsho, yesterday

THE BULAWAYO MDC provincial leadership is mobilising members to close ranks and focus on rebuilding the party’s structures following last week’s divisive congress.


Divisions rocked the opposition party at the election of a new executive last week, which some party members claimed was mainly on tribal grounds.

Provincial chairman, James Sithole, who is also the party’s legislator for Makokoba confirmed to the Southern Eye the party was left divided after the provincial congress, but pleaded with rival camps to “shun tribalism and close ranks for the good of the party”.

“The party constitution is clear on issues to do with tribalism. The party is against tribalism. We need each other regardless of what tribe or race one belongs to. I am going to work with everyone to ensure the party remains united. My immediate task is to unite and rebuild the party by bringing everyone together,” Sithole said.

Tribalism has remained a thorn in the flesh of the MDC Bulawayo structures. In November 2018, deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami survived an ouster on grounds that he was an “outsider”.

At last week’s provincial congress, Kambarami grabbed the provincial youth chair post ahead of the incumbent Mlandu Ncube, who was being pushed to assume the post of deputy mayor.

“It is natural that those who were not successful feel aggrieved. It is also normal that ahead of any competition for positions, and in this case, the provincial congress, you find camps or divisions. It, however, does not mean we will remain divided. Instead, we remain one solid party,” Sithole said.

He added: “There are no winners or losers after the congress. The winner is the party, though it is obvious that those who were not successful may not feel good, but they will heal and come around. We will work together, and my main responsibility is to unite and rebuild the party.”

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa recently slammed Bulawayo provincial structures for indiscipline, tribalism, factionalism and violence, among others, during an urgent provincial assembly meeting held at its city’s offices.

Chamisa blamed this state of affairs for the party’s poor showing in a recent Cowdray Park local government by-election won by Zanu PF.

Zanu PF’s Kidwell Mujuru won the by-election contested by 17 other contestants, among them two from the MDC as a result of factionalism.