Thursday, 25 April 2019


MDC Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa has been sucked into a tribal storm at the party's Bulawayo structures who accuse the opposition leader of presiding over a provincial congress marred with irregularities and ethnic bias.

In the "chaotic" Bulawayo congress, party vice president Professor Welshman Ncube was snubbed by the province which did not nominate him to retain the post at the national congress slated for next month.

Instead, the structures nominated Mr Tendai Biti, Mr Morgen Komichi and Ms Lillian Timveous for the vice presidency and nominated Prof Ncube for the secretary general's position.

However, according to insiders Prof Ncube has been nominated by seven out of the party's 12 provinces, while Mr Biti has eight, Ms Timveous has six, and Mr Komichi has 11 nominations.

Other nominations for Mr Chamisa's deputy include Ms Paurina Mupariwa, Engineer Elias Mudzuri, Tracey Mutinhiri and Mr Karenyi Kore who all have one nomination each.

Prof Ncube was snubbed together with former members of his MDC party that he led before he joined Mr Chamisa as none of them were nominated for any position.

The disgruntled party members say Mr Chamisa showed bias as he presided over the elections of the youth, women's and main provincial wings.

"For example, in the youth structures where more than 800 youths were supposed to participate, only about 150 were allowed to vote. No one can win when the electoral college is 150 as that number can only account for two party districts. By presiding over such a sham process, Chamisa oversaw the breach of the party constitution in favour of what has been viewed as a tribal agenda," said an insider.

Bouncers belonging to Mr Chamisa are said to have been hired to block people from voting and many feel results were predetermined.

 In the election for the main wing, party sources said party districts like Mpopoma and Emakhandeni were not allowed to vote despite the fact that their structures were in order.

 "There was a systematic frustration of people from voting. The election was dragged deep into the night and some members were forced to go back home without voting. If you try and tally the numbers in the polls you discover that there was a lot of cooking of figures," said the source.

"Chamisa's strategy was a dual one, first he wanted to include his allies and on the other hand targeted perceived enemies who opposed him at the 2014 congress where he was beaten by (party secretary general Douglas) Mwonzora. Look at what happened in other provinces with the likes of Murayi and Chimhini, they were all targeted by Chamisa and pushed out."

"Even if you look at the Prof Ncube issue, it is clear that the Bulawayo nomination was meant to embarrass him. Never has it happened in the history of the party that a vice president is snubbed by the province he hails from only to be nominated by other provinces."

MDC Alliance national spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume dismissed any alleged irregularities and tribal divisions.

"The Bulawayo congress and all our other provincial congresses have gone on smoothly, as of today we have not received any formal complaints in terms of our constitution over any irregularity. Winning candidates and the losing candidates have all pledged to work together. Should we receive any complaints or any specific irregularities it would be dealt with in terms of our constitution and it would be dealt with before the main congress," said Mr Mafume.

Last Tuesday, MDC-Alliance secretary-general, Mr Douglas Mwonzora who had expressed intention to challenge Mr Chamisa's presidency at the congress said he withdrew from the race because the playing field was not even.

Mr Mwonzora launched a scathing attack on his party and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions for failing to address concerns that he raised. Chronicle


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