According to high level sources in the MDC-T, Matabeleland North secretary for information and publicity Margs Varlley and provincial secretary Gift Mabhena, who is also the Hwange West MP, are opposed to the elevation of provincial executive member Esau Ncube.
Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Sengezo Tshabangu, sources said, was rallying behind Ncube who is being accused by MDC-T hardliners of having links with Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
Ncube was appointed Victoria Falls special councillor, sparking outrage from MDC-T officials who felt that the appointment was proof of Ncube’s alignment to Zanu PF functionaries.
Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that Ncube, a civic activist and Victoria Falls Agenda board member, was elected at a Matabeleland North provincial executive meeting in Hwange a fortnight ago.
Ncube shrugged off stiff competition from former MDC-T Matabeleland North administrator Michael Phiri and Hwange East MP Tose Sansole.
“There is a war over the selection of Ncube to represent the province in the national executive. Varlley and Mabhena are leading a group which is querying why the party would elevate someone who was appointed by Chombo,” said a senior MDC-T official.
Tshabangu confirmed Ncube’s election to the national executive, but denied that there was a fight over his selection.
“There can be others who feel Ncube doesn’t deserve to be our national representative but they haven’t complained formally,” said Tshabangu. “We forwarded Ncube’s name to the national executive which has not objected.”
But MDC-T officials say even Ncube’s election was not done in accordance with the party’s constitutional provisions since only a “few of the provincial executive members” attended the meeting.
Sources said Mabhena and Varlley were determined to have Ncube’s election nullified and have a fresh one.
While Varlley could not be reached for comment, Mabhena said he was not against Ncube’s election, but insisted that there were “certain things that needed to be corrected”.
He added that he would soon meet Tshabangu and map the way forward regarding Ncube’s election.
“When the elections were held I was not there, so I am yet to meet the provincial chairman (Tshabangu) so that we correct one or two things,” he said.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Ncube were fruitless as his mobile phones were not reachable.
Earlier this month, MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai visited Matabeleland North to build bridges between the two factions in the region aligned to the party’s organising secretary Elias Mudzuri and his deputy Morgan Komichi.