Eleven councillors for Umzingwane Rural District Council from the MDC led by Weshman Ncube on Friday defected in Bulawayo, where they renounced their membership and pledged allegiance to the party of excellence.
The eleven Councillors were led by Chairperson of the Rural District Council, Councillor Melusi Mpofu Ward 11 and the Deputy Chairperson Councillor Amanda Sibanda Ward 6. The other councillors are Japhet Moyo Ward 13, Solomon Ndlovu Ward 7, Mbuyazwe Mpikelwa Ward 5, Elliot Dube Ward 12, Eliote Gumpo Ward 9, Charles Mpofu Ward 2, Collen Sibanda Ward 4, William Ngwenya Ward 3 who is also the Election Director, Political Overseer and Councillor for Ward 8 Alvin Mbuyayeta.
The councillors highlighted four reasons for leaving the Welshman led MDC saying they had realised that the party had no future as reflected in the 2008 elections when it voted for Simba Makoni who was little known to the people, did not have the people's mandate and therefore lost dismally to President Tsvangirai although Zanu Pf later went on to steal this election.
"There is too much infighting within the Welshman led MDC, as a result we have lost focus as leadership is not worried about people in rural areas," said Councillor Amanda Sibanda.
The councillors said they had left the party because Welshman Ncube is dictatorial and lacks leadership qualities to keep the party intact.
In his welcoming remarks Deputy Organising Secretary Mr Abednigo Bhebhe said the councillors defected enmass because Welshman has no mandate for the people in Matabeleland, he is a self appointed MP and Minister. Bhebhe said If Welshman loved the people in Matabeleland as he purports to, he would have known that the key enemy is none other than Robert Mugabe who has presided over the demise of the country.
"But he seems to have a soft spot for this dictator at the expense of the people of Matebeleland who are still nursing the wounds of Gukurahundi, violence, abductions and intimidation. Unfortunately the people in the region are aware that in the negotiations he struck a deal with Mugabe to vote for Paul Themba Nyathi as speaker and Joram Gumbo as deputy speaker. Surely the people of Matebeleland would not have accepted our party colluding with Zanu PF," Bhebhe said.
The councillors also said they left the sinking Welshman led MDC due to pressure from the electorate. They said as representatives of the people who voted for them they were left with no option but to defect enmass as people indicated that they want to be led by President Tsvangirai.
In his welcome remarks the Chairperson of Matabeleland North Province Mr Watchy Sibanda said the defections are a clear sign that the party of excellence has gained ground by sticking to the people's wishes of improving livelihoods and restoring their dignity.
The Councillors also highlighted that seven Zanu Pf Councillors had already left their party but could not openly do so as they said they are protecting the farms which they got through the land reform. The councillors said pressure is mounting on these councillors as the whole of Mzingwane district is voting for President Tsvangirai in the next elections.
Also present in the welcoming ceremony was Hon Reggie Moyo who said the defections in the Welshman Ncube led party showed the true facts which have been repeatedly said, that the party is based on regionalism, pushes tribalistic agendas at the expense of genuine concerns of Matabeleland which are national.
President Morgan Tsvangirai has embarked on a robust programme of strengthening structures to ensure that Zimbabweans are not divided towards their goal to unseat a deep rooted dictatorship which has relegated Zimbabweans to beggars and vendors. The defections ring true to the MDC convictions that all leaders who are misleading the people through vote buying and regional politics shall fail. The party of excellence is rolling out to all the corners of the country in the last mile towards real transformation.