MDC-T Midlands North sticks with Muguti

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After two false starts, the MDC-T Midlands North finally held successful provincial elections here over the weekend.

Costin Muguti, the MP for Gokwe-Kabuyuni constituency, was elected chairman for the second time in a week after his election in Redcliff was nullified following an outbreak of violence and allegations that ballot papers had gone missing.

The Gweru elections started around midnight on Saturday after completion of the delegate verification exercise and ran to Sunday night before results were announced.

Muguti beat Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya, who was previously the provincial secretary, a position now held by Felix Zifunzi of Kadoma.

Sources close to the election said the Muguti camp won all seats in the provincial executive and the youth wing which is now chaired by Tapera Sengweni, a Kwekwe-based lawyer.

Cephas Zimuti, the founding provincial chairman who had lost to Muguti in the Redcliff election, had withdrawn his candidature from chairmanship and was now contesting for the post of organising secretary; he was however beaten in an election where all members of the previous executive were shown the door.

Sengweni said the election had proved to leaders that if they failed to live up to people’s expectations they would be removed from office because the party was not short of replacements.

Sources close to Muguti who was not reachable by the time of going to press said the Midlands North chairman had the difficult task of uniting the party in his area ahead of national elections.

The clashes on the two occasions resulted in violence erupting at the first attempt to hold the elections in Kwekwe at Echo Park and secondly in Redcliff where the elections were abandoned.

The tension in Midlands North forced the MDC-T National Council to move the elections to a neutral venue in Midlands South, Gweru.

A senior MDC-T official Seiso Moyo presided over the elections.