MDC-T Mashonaland West Province parliamentary aspirants are reportedly at each other’s throat over “unfair distribution” of campaign material — party regalia and short-wave radio sets — given to their supporters.
Insiders told NewsDay yesterday that tempers flared during a stormy provincial meeting on March 10 at the party offices in Chinhoyi presided over by suspended chairman Japhet Karemba. It is alleged some party officials accused their colleagues of abusing party resources for “selfish political expediency”.
Each district was reportedly allocated 40 short-wave radio sets, the sources said.
This comes at a time police have recently banned distribution of radio sets and launched investigations into how they landed into the country amid reports that the radios could be used to commit espionage. Several people have either been arrested or picked up for questioning over the distribution of the radios.
According to leaked minutes of the meeting, MDC-T’s aspiring MP for Magunje, Ralph Magunje, reportedly claimed funds and party property such as radios were unfairly allocated in his area, noting that some parliamentary aspirants responsible for the distribution were biased.
Magunje, charged that the radio sets and party regalia were being distributed to people outside MDC-T structures. Part of the minutes read: “Magunje alleged some aspiring candidates given the responsibility of distributing party resources were abusing their authority.”
Magunje, according to the minutes, also complained of deep-seated factionalism in the province which he attributed to undue interferences by senior officials sitting in the provincial executive council.
MDC-T Kariba MP Cleopas Machacha also raised concern over the distribution of party resources, saying the resort town had only received 20 of the 40 radios allocated to the area. Aspiring Kariba legislator Kudakwashe Mandishona added the prolonged selection of parliamentary candidates had caused disharmony as several aspiring candidates were campaigning in the district. He appealed to the party leadership to finalise candidate verification to allow time to rebuild unity in the party ahead of polls.
Another aspiring MP candidate for Hurungwe Central, Simbarashe Takawira, questioned the criteria used in selecting officials to carry out the distribution of campaign material.
The party’s aspiring MP for Mhangura, Thomas Maseko, concurred, adding there had been unfair distribution of campaign material and money allocated for party activities in his area.