THE Welshman Ncube-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) suffered yet another setback this week after its treasurer-general, Paul Themba Nyathi, resigned from his post.
The latest resignation, adds further to the growing list of senior party leaders that have either resigned or stepped down in recent months. Other party leaders who have thrown in the towel, choosing to lead a more discreet role in the party, include Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the former secretary-general and Frank Chamunorwa, the former deputy national chairperson. Both are now just ordinary card-carrying members.
Other party leaders such as Qhubani Moyo, the former director of policy; Nhlanhla Dube, the former national spokesperson and Goodrich Chimbaira, the former chairman have chosen to part ways with the party, altogether.
The resignation of Nyathi means that Ncube remains without the majority of the MDC executive which helped to sweep him into power in the bloodless palace coup held in January 2011 that saw the party leadership change hands from Arthur Mutambara to Ncube.
With the next party congress due to be held in 2016, Ncube is however largely tipped to retain control of his MDC outfit, a splinter of the mainstream MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Nyathi this week said he remained an ordinary card carrying member.
“I am now old and there are things that I am doing that are important. Not that the party business is not important, but there’s a job I’m doing in the civil society that I want to concentrate my efforts on,” he said.
Nyathi has since been replaced by his deputy, Theresa Muchovo. MDC sources said the leadership would in the next few days officially announce the ‘new look’ MDC leadership.
Political observers said the string of resignations in the MDC were bound to add to the general perception that the tide has swung against many of the country’s opposition parties that are evidently failing to put their houses in order and start charting a formidable challenge to President Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF in the looming 2018 election.
The MDC Renewal Team led by interim president Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo suffered a split in its ranks a fortnight ago, with the emergence of the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe led by Elton Mangoma.
Grace Kwinjeh, a founding member of the MDC in 1999, who is now based in Brussels, Belgium, said this week the fragmentation of the opposition was of concern, as the country slowly moved towards the next round of polls.
“I think Zimbabwe’s opposition politics is not headed in any particular direction; you have more political party leaders emerging so fast and so tragically too,” Kwinjeh told the Financial Gazette, adding: “A fractured opposition does not help in any way in dismantling ZANU-PF’s hegemony; to make matters worse all these parties put such a strain on the population which is really struggling with a never ending cycle of poverty”. – FinGaz