BULAWAYO – Tribalism within the MDC Bulawayo chapter has threatened to tear apart the already distressed opposition party as leadership and councillors trade accusations of tribalism, The Harare Post can reveal.
So intense is the tribalism issue that the MDC national party leadership had to summon Bulawayo City Council (BCC) councillors to the party HQ last Thursday to solve the burning issue.
The party`s Secretary for Local Government, Clifford Hlatshwayo who presided over the meeting, lamented the in-harmoniousness between mayor Solomon Mguni and his deputy, Tinashe Kambarami highlighting that the discord had tribal connotations and had cascaded down to the grassroots.
Speaking at the same meeting, Ward 16 councillor, Mildred Ncube accused Shona speaking councillors of side-lining their Ndebele counterparts during council meetings. Ncube blamed Kambarami for holding a caucus meeting with Shona speaking councillors where they allegedly plotted to suspend Ndebele speaking Town Clerk, Christopher Dube and for also unprocedurally effecting Dube`s suspension on 11 July.
It is reported that Kambarami leaped to his defence in a move style, accusing Ncube of lying, saying Dube was suspended for incompetence and abuse of office.
Kambarami counter-accused his Ndebele counterparts of tribalism, saying they once organised demonstrations with Mthwakazi against Dube’s suspension on 12 July 2019 at BCC offices.
Kambarami claimed that the Ndebele councillors were inciting public violence and do not want any Shona councillors to hold influential posts both at the party and council.
Meanwhile the contact said party leadership resolved that to set up an inquiry committee to investigate and solve the contentious issue.
It`s not the first time the opposition party has been rocked by tribalism. The top presidium is currently dominated by Shona people and only the party`s Vice President Welshmen Ncube is a Ndebele speaker.
The contact further claimed that the Ndebele Councillors have been working with 1893 Mthwakazi Human Rights Restoration Movement (MHRRM) to remove Kambarami from his post saying he was not suitable to be a councillor after his conviction by Bulawayo Magistrate Court on 27 June for theft of electrical cables valued at US$20.
“When the case was heard by Bulawayo High Court on 15 July, over 60 people mainly members of the 1893 MHRRM and MDC Ndebele supporters, demonstrated outside the courts chanting slogans while holding placards inscribed; ‘No fraudulent leader’, ‘No corrupt leader’, ‘Shonas are dominating us.'”he said.
Demonstrators also insulted MDC Bulawayo Provincial Women Assembly Chairperson, Tendai Masotsha accusing her of mobilising party supporters to rally behind Kambarami in a bid to source funding for her personal business.
Kambarami, who is also Bulawayo Provincial Youth Assembly Chairperson, is a strong Chamisa ally. He is also the coordinator of both the Democratic Resistance Committees (DRC) and Vanguard.
Chamisa`s dictatorial tendencies were exposed last year when he unconstitutionally imposed Councillor Maphios Shumba as Chegutu mayor ahead of Councillor Henry Muchatibaya who was elected by the council.In Masvingo, he ordered Advocate CollinsMaboke to step down, accusing him of supping with Zanu-PF and disregarding a party directive to choose MDC-Alliance Ward 4 Councillor, Godfrey Mberikunashe as mayor.