HARARE – Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC, has turned to farming after dismally losing the July 31 elections.
Ncube polled 2.68 percent in a presidential election that saw President Robert Mugabe winning 61 percent of the vote to claim a seventh term as president, while opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai finished second with 34 per cent.
Since then, Ncube, who was ubiquitous on social media platforms tweeting on a daily basis before the polls, has gone into hibernation.
Efforts to get comment from the former law lecturer have proved futile as he no longer picks up his phone or responds to messages sent to him on social media.
But, party officials say Ncube is spending most of his time at his farm in Lower Gweru.
The Daily News yesterday phoned Ncube several times and even sent him an SMS but the MDC leader did not reply or return our calls.
Kurauone Chihwayi, MDC deputy spokesperson, denied that Ncube has deserted the party and retreated to farming.
“That is hogwash and baseless,” fumed Chihwayi. “Prof Ncube is available and accessible. He has been in and out of the country on party business.”
Pressed to reveal the whereabouts of Ncube, Chihwayi said: “It is none of your business to know every move that Ncube makes. He is around the country and meeting up with the people.”
A top party source said: “The reason why Ncube is not picking up his phone is that he is at the farm. He will be busy with farm work and has no time to attend to the phone.
“He now spends most of his time at the farm and the network in that area is not good. We have also been trying to contact to him and he has not been taking our calls.”
The party has been faltering since the harmonised polls, and is rocked by widening divisions after disgruntled members called for the re-calling of secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga from the National Assembly, insisting that her nomination was not proper.
The party has dissolved its Pumula district structures, accusing them of failing to respect the party’s leadership. Also, the beleaguered party fired Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Petros Mukwena over allegations of spearheading a recall of Misihairabwi-Mushonga from the National Assembly.
To add more woes, the party’s former director of policy Qhubani Moyo recently quit saying he is disillusioned about the party recovering from the landslide loss. He is mulling joining Zanu PF.