DIVISIONS have emerged in the MDC Alliance over a solidarity rally in support of dethroned Chief Ndiweni from Ntabazinduna.
Mr Nhlanhla Ndiweni lost the chieftainship in November after it emerged that his elder brother Joram was the rightful heir in line with Nguni culture and traditions.
The MDC Alliance is planning the rally in Ntabazinduna on February 1.
Sources said because of Ntabazinduna’s proximity to Bulawayo, senior party officials instructed Matabeleland North and Bulawayo to work together to organise the rally.
Party insiders’ said divisions have emerged as a result of divided loyalties and factionalism.
The sources said provincial leaders from the two provinces were expected to hold a meeting in Bulawayo last Saturday but leaders from Matabeleland North boycotted the meeting.
“Executive members from Matabeleland North gave last minute excuses that they would not be able to attend the meeting. There is an existing rift between the two provincial leadership structures with those in Matabeleland North saying they do not recognise their counterparts in Bulawayo. Remember there was a time the province wrote to the national executive petitioning it to dissolve Bulawayo structures claiming it is led by an illegitimate executive,” said the source.
“So, in preparation of the coming rally, the Matabeleland North provincial executive thought this would be their opportunity to push their agenda to national leaders. They actually want to portray that Bulawayo leaders are incompetent to mobilise supporters to attend the rally.”
Another source said while the divisions seem to be between the two provincial executives, the actual issue was the fight to control Matabeleland region between one of the party’s vice presidents Professor Welshman Ncube and national chairperson Ms Thabitha Khumalo.
“Prof Ncube is hugely respected in Matabeleland North while Thabitha is supported by Bulawayo structures. So, both political figures use the structures to make their political presence felt in the province,” said the source.
Matabeleland North deputy provincial chairperson Mr Jabulani Hadebe declined to comment on the alleged divisions between the two provinces.
He however, confirmed that the party was organising a solidarity rally for Mr Ndiweni.
“Yes, as party we organising a solidarity rally for ‘Chief Ndiweni on February 1’. We are working with our counterparts in Bulawayo to prepare for it. We have taken the stance that traditional leaders should be respected instead of their offices being politicised,” said Mr Hadebe
Bulawayo MDC Alliance province spokesperson Mr Swithern Chiroodza professed ignorance over the ‘Chief Ndiweni’ solidarity rally.
He said he was not aware of any difference between the two provincial executives.
“As for the rally in Ntabazinduna I don’t know anything. There was no such meeting scheduled for Saturday, I just think somebody is trying to set the agenda or is just being mischievous.”