By Paul Nyathi| MDC (Ncube) Matabeleland South chairman Pius Ndebele has dismissed party Deputy National Spokesperson Mbuso Siso’s sentiments that the party is having strained relations with it’s Member of Parliament Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga.
Speaking to ZimEye.com in an interview on Thursday morning, Ndebele said that as the province that seconded Mushonga to parliament they have not experienced any differences with the outspoken parliamentarian.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday the National Deputy Spokesperson, Siso, indicated to ZimEye.com that the party was in the process of effecting disciplinary measures against Mushonga allegedly for not taking part in party activities and defying party President Welshman Ncube.
Ndebele said that as a province they have not experienced any issues against Mushonga that may warrant her to be disciplined and possibly be excluded from representing the province in parliament.
“We don’t know anything against Priscilla as a province and I can not comment further than this on the issue,” he said.
“If there is anything you can verify that with the national leadership maybe they know better, as the provincial leadership we know no issues against her,” added Ndebele.
Questioned on claims by Mushonga that she was not informed of the candidates nomination process currently taking place, Ndebele acknowledged that he was the authority to communicate with her and has not yet done so as Mushonga is in the proportional representation list and not the elections list which has been asked to apply.
“As far as i know, only candidates wishing to be considered for election at constituency levels have been invited to submit their applications and that is the information I communicated to the districts, I am not aware that the proportional representation candidates have also been invited to apply,” said Ndebele.
His sentiments contradict Siso’s indications that the party opened for applications from all prospective candidates including senators and women’s quota representatives.
Siso further indicated that Mushonga was not attending the provincial meetings where the issue of the candidates process was discussed.
Ndebele disputed the claim indicating that the party does not invite for applications for proportional representation candidates but seconds people at its discretion.
“We don’t invite for applications for proportional representation but we appoint people to the positions as a party like we did when we seconded Priscilla (Mushonga) and (Senator) Joice Ndlovu,” he said.
Responding to allegations that she was going to be disciplined by the party and possibly denied from going back into parliament, Mushonga said that she was shocked by the utterances made by Siso.
“Thank Siso for me I didn’t know that the party can be housed at my house in Hillside, that I can pay for staff at the province, and remain at a collision course with the party,” said Mushonga.
She said that she will wait for the party to effect the disciplinary process against her as indicated by the party national information department.
“I will wait the formal correspondence on the charges that the party is saying will be effected on me,” she said.
Mushonga dismissed Siso’s allegations that she will be charged by the party for attending a conference in Cape Town which the party President had declined to attend.
“I guess the public statements on Cape town are now making sense the puzzle fits,” she said.
“Please ask them what it is that am guilty of by attending a meeting on lessons learnt on coalition building and whose instruction I violated,” queried Mushonga.
On allegations that she was defying the party on the MDC Alliance coalition, Mushonga said that she was speaking her mind to voice against gender based violence on fellow woman politician possibly referring to troubled Thokozani Khuphe of the MDC-T.
“If my crime is to publicly support another woman who is suffering gender based violence by issuing statements against violence then I plead guilty. It is a crime I will proudly admit and suffer for if need be,” said Mushonga.