FORMER MDC Renewal Team interim president, Sekai Holland, who suddenly quit the political outfit at the weekend, was hounded out of the party by its top brass contrary to claims that she voluntarily relinquished power to concentrate on her National Peace Trust project based at the Midlands State University (MSU) in Gweru.
The Financial Gazette can report that Holland who was appointed MDC Renewal Team interim president in September last year quit the party under pressure from her erstwhile colleagues who were uncomfortable with her growing links with ZANU-PF.
Former party colleagues have been exerting pressure on her to choose between the party and her project, which she co-chairs with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a senior ZANU-PF official.
Insiders said Holland was showing increasing preference to her project more than the party, much to the chagrin of her colleagues who were expecting her to transform the MDC Renewal Team into a formidable formation.
Holland was also under fire for failing to hammer a deal with the MDC led by Welshman Ncube. The unification talks between the two splinter groups have since collapsed. The tipping point was however, the warm relationship she enjoys with Mnangagwa.
It has since emerged that she was questioned at several party meetings over the issues and asked to renounce her project work in order to concentrate on the party’s activities but she chose to quit instead. Admitting to these revelations Holland said her predicament was all because people had failed to appreciate her extra curricula activities.
“One thing Zimbabweans don’t understand is the difference between a hobby and an occupation. If we are in an organisation, we work together but what I do outside is nobody’s business. However, in Zimbabwe, it becomes everybody’s business. We must vomit this mindset,” she told the Financial Gazette.
Holland said the National peace project was a continuation of the work she started during her tenure as co-minister of State for national healing, reconciliation and integration in the inclusive government from 2009-2013 with the late vice president, John Landa Nkomo and the late Gibson Sibanda.
“So the death of the two left a void which I felt I should pursue and I honestly do not see how this should become an issue. I became a co-patron for the MSU fundraising committee with Mnangagwa who was from the friends of MSU during the era of the inclusive government.
“So it should not be a surprise to anybody, but I think this is all because of the polarisation of our society that people just fail to distinguish one’s private life from their official work. I therefore saw it fit to get out and really operationalise this Peace Project which is my burden,” she added.
MDC Renewal spokesman, Jacob Mafume, said the party had nothing against Holland.
“She has resigned and that is the end of the matter. She has other interests that she has to pursue and we have no problems with that at all as a party. The danger does not lie those who resign, but in those who do not when their sell by dates have come like (President Robert) Mugabe and (Morgan) Tsvangirai,” Mafume said.
Holland was officially appointed MDC Renewal Team interim president in September last year in what was largely seen as a ploy by the infant party to exploit her rich connections in Europe to attract funding. Another source said Holland’s situation had worsened since her expulsion from Parliament, where she was an MDC-T senator.
“I think she realised that she was no longer benefiting from continuing to be in the party and decided to incline herself to this project which seems to have attracted donors,” said the source.— Financial Gazette