Wednesday, 31 January 2018

MDC BIGWIGS SQUABBLE OVER MASVINGO URBAN

Infighting in the MDC-T party, particularly in Masvingo, has reached tipping point as the opposition party’s bigwigs are angling for the Masvingo Urban parliamentary seat ahead of the forthcoming elections.

There are fears within the party that an abrasive tussle for the seat between former Youth Deputy Minister in the inclusive Government Mr Tongai Matutu and MDC-T national executive member Mr Takanai Mureyi might paralyse party operations ahead of the coming polls.
The MDC-T considers Masvingo Urban seat a “safe” bet since it is located in a predominantly urban population, which is perceived to be sympathetic to the opposition.

The battle between Messrs Matutu and Mureyi has reportedly forced the MDC-T Masvingo district executive to write to Mr Matutu, barring him from addressing party meetings in Masvingo Urban.
MDC-T Masvingo district secretary Mr Faustino Murambatsvina wrote to Mr Matutu ordering him to seek the party’s nod before holding any such meetings.

The district executive is reportedly sympathetic to Mr Mureyi.
Mr Matutu yesterday confirmed receiving a letter ordering him to seek permission before holding party meetings in Masvingo Urban.

‘’I received a letter from the district (MDC-T Masvingo) executive informing me that I have to first seek approval from the leadership before holding party meetings in the constituency, but the question is where did I hold the meetings and whom did I address and when?’’ said Mr Matutu.
“The template with guidelines for choosing MDC-T candidates for the coming elections is not yet out, so how do I start campaigning? I am a very sober person who has been in Parliament before and I cannot be seen to be fighting with people who have never been in Parliament.

“People should not speak for me that I am eyeing Masvingo Urban seat, I should be allowed to speak for myself and I will do so at the right time.’’

The MDC-T, said Mr Matutu, faced a bigger task as it did not have enough labourers like himself who were prepared to work for the party even as ordinary card-carrying members.

On his part, Mr Mureyi denied harbouring ambitions to represent MDC-T in Masvingo Urban, adding that there was no bad blood between him and Mr Matutu.

“A person is allowed to change his mind anytime and at the moment, I am not interested in contesting the Masvingo Urban seat on an MDC-T ticket,” he said.

He (Mr Matutu) is my friend and we have no problems at all. “If anything, I would want to be a Senator, that is, if people choose me.”

The battle between the two bigwigs has reportedly prised apart MDC-T structures in Masvingo district, which are divided over which candidate to back in the constituency.

Mr Matutu’s supporters believe that the prominent lawyer has a long track record in the MDC-T, having won the seat on an MDC-T ticket twice in the 2005 and 2008 parliamentary elections.

Those fighting in Mr Mureyi’s corner argue that Mr Matutu’s loyalty to the MDC-T cause is questionable after he ditched the party post 2013 elections and joined Mr Tendai Biti’s PDP, but he retraced his footsteps to become an ordinary card-carrying member.

The MDC-T has been losing political ground to a rejuvenated Zanu-PF in Masvingo, where the ruling party swept clean all the 26 House of Assembly seats in the 2013 harmonised elections.
The MDC has also dismally failed to make inroads and set up structures in Zanu-PF strongholds such as Mwenezi and Chiredzi. Herald

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