THE Welshman Ncube-led MDC has attacked Zanu PF politburo member Sithembiso Nyoni for urging headmen to drum up support for her party ahead of possible elections this year.
REPORT BY NDUDUZO TSHUMA STAFF REPORTER
Nyoni, who is also Small and Medium Enterprises minister, told a rally in Nkayi over the weekend that the headmen had to thank President Robert Mugabe for the powers he gave to traditional leaders. At the rally held at Gwelutshena on Saturday, Nyoni said traditional leadership structures like the headmen and village heads should stop the MDCs from getting the rural vote.
However, in a statement yesterday, the MDC hit back saying “it condemns in strongest terms the statements attributed to Sithembiso Nyoni that traditional leaders must stop the MDC activities in Nkayi North. The MDC finds these statements very irresponsible and bound to incite violence and intimidation against those that are opposed to Zanu PF”.
Party national spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said: “These irresponsible utterances betray a party that holds traditional leaders in absolute contempt and show the level of moral decay within Zanu PF that still wants to use traditional leaders to prop up their failing bid to buttress the dwindling political support throughout the country.”
Dube said Nyoni’s utterances were “a reminder of the failed Rhodesian system of governance that turned the traditional leaders into spies of the regime”.
“The MDC is convinced that the quest for a just and fair Zimbabwe has reached a point of no return and Zanu PF will not succeed where Smith failed,” he said.
“The MDC will insist at all times that traditional leaders are not only respected, but also protected from being used and abused for personal political gain by those whose ability to engage in peaceful and issue-based political discourse is greatly diminished.”
Dube said his party would “within the ambit of the GPA (Global Political Agreement) challenge Nyoni’s statements which fly in the face of and are a violation of the GPA to which her party is a signatory”.