AFTER the MDC fired eight of its legislators last week, questions raged on whether this was a genius masterstroke or the party had authored its demise as it has sacked a majority of its elected parliamentarians.
The MDC led by Welshman Ncube said it fired the legislators for allegedly working with the MDC-T, but the fired legislators instead claimed they were under the stewardship of deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
Ncube and Mutambara are engaged in mortal combat over who leads the party and the matter has since been referred to the Supreme Court.
One of the fired legislators, Lupane Senator Dalumuzi Khumalo laughed off his axing, claiming he was led by Mutambara.
“I do not belong to Ncube,” he said. “We remained with Mutambara and we are waiting for the court verdict.”
Asked what would happen if Mutambara lost his appeal, considering that he had lost at the High Court, Khumalo curtly responded, “We will cross the bridge when we get there”.
Among those fired is Umzingwane MP Nomalanga Khumalo, who is also the deputy Speaker of Parliament.
But the MDC on the other hand claims the fired legislators did not belong with Mutambara and were instead using that as a cover for their duplicitous activities.
“These legislators and councillors have not been honest and helpful to the party and the leadership that helped them go to parliament,” MDC deputy spokesman, Kurauone Chihwayi charged. “We took the appropriate action at the appropriate time.”
Chihwayi said in firing the legislators, MDC was flexing its muscles and it had done its homework.
He vowed that the party would retain the seats held by the renegade parliamentarians in the next elections expected early next year.
But political analyst, Effie Ncube said the move was an acknowledgement of the divisions within the party.
“The move raises questions about its timing; it may send the wrong messages to the electorate considering how close we are to elections,” he said.
But Ncube rapped the legislators who had been fired, saying they should have declared that they were no longer part of the MDC, instead of waiting to be pushed out.
He also dismissed claims by the legislators that they belonged to the Mutambara faction, saying they just wanted to use it as a cover so that they do not get fired from parliament.
Ncube said it was time for the MDC to introspect to see where they were and if it was where they wanted to be.
National University of Science and Technology lecturer, Lawton Hikwa said the case was tricky because a political matter had been turned into a legal one.
He said conclusions could only be drawn after the end of the court case.
“The irony, however, is that unelected officials are firing elected representatives,” he observed.
Hikwa said, as an analyst, he had to wait for the court verdict, as it could render the firing null and void.
The MDC led by Ncube has had an uneasy relationship with most of its legislators since the 2008 presidential election run off.
This led to the firing of three legislators, among them Abedinico Bhebhe, who is now the deputy secretary of the MDC-T, on allegations of working with the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led party.
The other two are Njabuliso Mguni MP for Bulilima East and Norman Mpofu for Lupane East.