|MDC in turmoil|
|Thursday, 07 March 2013 19:42|
MDC secretary general, Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga is under fire from some senior party members who accuse her of cronyism and regionalism.Highly-placed sources in the party yesterday said all was not well in MDC. One said many members who sit in the party’s national standing committee and national executive and are based in Mashonaland, Manicaland and Masvingo provinces are unhappy about Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s alleged unilateralism and favouritism in appointments to paid assignments in government arms like Copac and Jomic and foreign trips. They also allege that she refuses to fund programmes outside Matabeleland provinces, a development which they say undermines the party’s visibility and electoral chances in the areas. The source said her relations with senior figures outside Matabeleland had deteriorated to an extent that at some point in September, a national executive member from Masvingo, a Mr Paradza, confronted her over Jomic appointments.
Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga refused to comment on the allegations when contacted yesterday.
“There are camps in the party,” said a national standing committee source. “There is a group, which, if it had its way, could have set in motion proceedings for a vote of no confidence in her on allegations of favouritism and regionalism.
“However, the problem we had was that she being a product of congress, it was not possible for us to do that. But many of us in Mashonaland provinces, Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland are not happy with her leadership.
“We have seen a trend where appointments for foreign trips and deployments to posts in Jomic and Copac are done clandestinely and she only appoints those close to her. Any foreign trip goes to Matabeleland.
“She does not consult anyone, even the deputy president; (Edwin) Mushoriwa is always sidelined. She and the president (Prof Welshman Ncube) are monopolising power”.
As secretary general, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga is in charge of the running of the party. It is among her responsibilities, in consultation with other seniors, to pick officials to represent the party in government and party activities but the sources claim she does so unilaterally.
MDC has since 2008 been riven by divisions and indiscipline. During the election of the Speaker of the House of Assembly almost all its 10 members disregarded a party directive to vote for its candidate, Mr Paul Themba Nyathi and instead, backed MDC-T’s Mr Lovemore Moyo.
Initially it fired three House of Assembly representatives alleging they were working with MDC-T. In November last year, the party fired more legislators — three senators, another two House of Assembly members and 49 councillors on similar allegations.
A national executive member from Mashonaland Central accused Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga of victimising party officials who use their resources to organise rallies in areas other than Matabeleland.
“Have we minimised ourselves to a regional party?” he asked.
“As I speak, there are no activities going on here. Priscilla pumps money there (to Matabeleland), is unwilling to fund any rallies here and if we initiate any meetings ourselves, we are branded sellouts, renegades and so on.