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MDC-M ejected from the high-level indaba as MDC-N threatened to walkout

by Staff reporter
11 Nov 2011 at 21:31hrs | Views
State media reports that members of the Professor Arthur Mutambara-led MDC faction were on Friday ejected from the high-level indaba on  political violence.

It took the intervention of President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to convince the faction to leave.

This was after MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube threatened to walkout of the meeting if the Mutambara faction was allowed to take part.

The faction members led by chairman Joubert Mudzumwe remonstrated with security personnel demanding entry into the venue without invitations.

Mr Mudzumwe accused MDC secretary-general Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga of orchestrating the confusion.

"When Priscilla walked in, she saw us seated and she cried saying they would boycott the meeting if we were allowed to attend.

"She argued that we would boo Welshman. This meeting was organised through Government, but it was not possible for Prof Mutambara to attend because of the court interdict. I was supposed to represent him.

"I ended up meeting President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai over the issue and they convinced me that we should just leave because they wanted the meeting to proceed after Welshman threatened to walkout."

But Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga dismissed the claims, saying the meeting had been organised through a political parties' forum.

"This was purely a political parties' meeting and not a Government initiative and there is also an interdict against Mutambara," she said.

"So it doesn't make sense for anyone to claim to represent a person who has been interdicted. Mudzumwe and his people had no role at this meeting because we had a standing rule as political parties that it is for political parties only."

On allegations that she cried, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga said: "I will not dignify that nonsense with a comment."

Politicians from parties that attended yesterday's meeting hailed their leaders for calling for a violence-free society.

Members of the executive committees of the parties said the message had come at the right time.
Zanu-PF secretary for Women's Affairs Cde Oppah Muchinguri said women had been given a spur to campaign against violence.

"We are happy that this gives women that vigour," she said. "We are reinvigorated and we are committed now than before."

Cde Muchinguri said lower structures of the political parties should heed the message to stop political violence.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said it was important that the leaders asked the police to take action against those perpetrating violence.

"It is critical that the police are instructed to take action," he said. "We are happy that the principals know about the political violence."

Zanu-PF Central Committee member and Gutu West legislator Cde Noel Mandebvu said it was important for the leadership to preach peace.

"It is refreshing that our leaders have spoken against violence and that we should accept each other's choices," he said.

"Now we need to have this message cascaded down to the lower echelons of our structures because that is where a lot of work has to be done.

"After this meeting, it is important that we go to the provincial structures down to the cell structures and demonstrate to them that they can co-exist despite belonging to different parties."

Nkulumane MP Mr Thamsanqa Mahlangu (MDC-T) described the meeting as a milestone in fighting political violence.

"What the leaders said is very important because now we will be able to treat each other with dignity," he said.

"Political leaders should always ensure that what they tell their subordinates is implemented on the ground.

"Supporters usually follow what their leaders tell them and as a country we can only develop when we tolerate each other and there is peace."

Said MDC vice president Mr Edwin Mushoriwa: "This meeting was a good start and the fact that our leadership has decided to converge and send a clear message of peace to the grassroots shows how sincere we are.

"What they said is very important for everyone because we have to know that we are all Zimbabweans first before we wear our political party affiliation hats."

Source - TH