MDC-T Midlands North elections aborted

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The potentially explosive MDC-T Midlands North provincial elections scheduled for last Saturday were aborted after the party failed to complete voting within the time limit given by the police under the Public Order and Security Act.

Presiding officers — Matobo Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa and Dzivarasekwa MP Evelyn Masaiti — told NewsDay they had to postpone the elections for fear of overstepping the time limits agreed to with the police.

The elections were now expected to be held next weekend at Gokwe business centre.

“I was given a duty by the party but unfortunately it did not happen due to some logistical problems,” said Mlotshwa.

Three factions have reportedly emerged in the run-up to the party’s provincial polls with seating chairman Cephas Zimuti facing stiff challenge from Gokwe-Kabuyuni MP Costin Muguti, Willard Somerai and Health and Child Welfare minister Henry Madzorera.

Party insiders said Muguti was backed by Kwekwe Central MP Blessing Chebundo.

Masaiti said verification of eligible voters took long amid allegations some candidates had bussed in members who were not on the voters roll.

Somerai told NewsDay: “Mine is a winning team and come Saturday in Gokwe, we will win that election. I will be chairman of Midlands North province, after dislodging the Chebundo-backed team.”

Kwekwe lawyer Tapera Sengweni who is eyeing the youth chairman’s post and backing Muguti, said “Muguti is unstoppable.

He is going to win come Saturday in Gokwe.

He is a hard worker and he has more support than most of the candidates who want to stand against him. He is a moving train and does not need to bus anyone to the elections.”

Mbizo MP and current provincial secretary, Settlement Chikwinya, a member of the Zimuti camp faces stiff challenge from Abraham Muchena, reportedly of the Chebundo camp.

Said Chikwinya: “I have to be nominated first before I start talking of my candidature, and at the moment nominations are still in the process.”

Meanwhile, the party’s Midlands South elections will be held in Gweru on April 18.