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Mzila sacking rocks MDC- Ncube

By Nduduzo Tshuma

BULAWAYO – The weekend sacking of MDC acting secretary general Moses Mzila Ndlovu is a culmination of strained personal relations between him and party leader Professor Welshman Ncube, sources revealed yesterday.

Moses Mzila Ndlovu
Moses Mzila Ndlovu (Picture by Southern Eye)

The MDC national standing committee at the weekend removed Mzila Ndlovu from the position over allegations of failure to execute his duties to the satisfaction of the party.

He was replaced by his deputy Miriam Mushayi.

Claims emerged yesterday that Mzila Ndlovu and Prof Ncube’s relations never improved after he replaced Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga who resigned from the position last year.

Instead, MDC deep throats claim, Prof Ncube sidelined Mzila Ndlovu from high level meetings and trips preferring either the company of Mushayi or former party treasurer Paul Themba Nyathi.

“Soon after Mzila’s appointment as acting SG, Prof Ncube travelled to South Africa with Peoples Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti and was meant to be accompanied by the acting secretary general.

“He waited for the air ticket only to learn later that Prof Ncube had left him behind,” said a party source.

“There’ve also been meetings with PDP on reunification, two of them actually, and Mzila Ndlovu was left behind with Prof Ncube choosing to go with Mushayi. Again when there were negotiations with (Joice) Mujuru for a broader coalition, some of which were chaired by Prof Ncube, Mzila Ndlovu was left behind.”

The sources said Mzila Ndlovu’s tenure as acting secretary general was further frustrated by being shut out from the party’s donors.

“At the end Mzila Ndlovu couldn’t function properly because he was restricted.

“He was cut off from the donors and all the party’s strategic partners making him virtually ineffective in the discharge of his duties,” said the source.

This, sources said, caused a lot of frustration on the part of Mzila Ndlovu that when some members decided to petition Prof Ncube to step down from the helm of the party, they got his sympathy.

“By giving those people his sympathy, Mzila Ndlovu fell into the hands of Prof Ncube and his backers who immediately pounced on him through a vote of no confidence.

“The truth of the matter, however, is that Mzila Ndlovu wasn’t in good books with Prof Ncube for a very long time,” said the source.

Mzila Ndlovu yesterday confirmed the allegations saying his “marginalisation” from the party dates back to the days when Prof Ncube and Misihairabwi Mushonga were still in good books.

“What you’ve heard is true. I’ve suffered this marginalisation way back when I was still deputy secretary general. Prof Ncube and Misihairabwi Mushonga worked very closely together without involving others and some of us initially felt maybe it was good for the party but then later raised the red flag,” he said.

Mzila Ndlovu attributed his clash with Prof Ncube more to personal differences saying some leaders tend to be intimidated by members who are not afraid to speak their mind.

The sacked acting secretary general said he was always committed to the party’s virtues.

Meanwhile, MDC director of elections for Bulawayo province, Victor Nyoni, yesterday called for Prof Ncube’s resignation, describing Mzila Ndlovu’s sacking as, “not only unfortunate but also diabolic in that it smacks of deceit, malevolence, cowardice and thinly veiled mudslinging ahead of the congress.”

Nyoni said the decision by the party’s national standing committee to sack Mzila Ndlovu was “self serving” to its alleged architects whom he said should rather focus their attention on addressing causes of desertions by some members of the top leadership.

MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi yesterday dismissed the allegations insisting that Mzila was sacked not because of personality clashes with Prof Ncube but because of dereliction of duty.

Chihwayi said Mzila Ndlovu failed to organise the party’s congress set for this year and also did not convene meetings of the national standing committee as directed by the party.

“The office of the secretary general needs someone who is energetic and not a lazy one,” he said. The Chronicle