OPPOSITION MDC-T party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was in Mutare yesterday reportedly forced to perform secretariat duties by personally vetting district members eligible to nominate candidates for the party’s standing committee after tempers flared over the selection criteria ahead of the voting process.
Informed sources said Tsvangirai had to intervene and conduct the exercise after MDC-T district members from Chikanga and Dangamvura failed to agree on the selection criteria.
This was the second that the former Prime Minister has reduced himself to a mere member of the party’s secretariat after the Bulawayo polls turned chaotic recently.
Some disgruntled MDC-T members blamed their top leadership for the chaos.
“We came from Chipinge and we expect to travel back home today, but with the slow pace that the process is going, it’s likely the voting will run late into the night,” MDC-T activist, Tendai Sithole said.
“We are generally not happy with the fact that some people are just being disqualified from the voting and we are fully aware that it is a plot to disenfranchise some members aiming positions. We will see how it will end, but I am not impressed.”
Tsvangirai had to move around visiting different districts that failed to agree and address them to find an amicable solution.
The tight contest in the MDC-T was between the current organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, who were all eying the position of secretary-general.
However, Chamisa yesterday played down the clashes and denied Tsvangirai’s involvement in the process.
“The ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) and Youth for Democracy in Zimbabwe are leading the process,” Chamisa said.
“We started around 1pm because people took time to be transported. The president is not leading. He is just enquiring on what caused the delays.”
Chamisa said results were expected later in the night.
Chikanga-Dangamvura constituency has remained the MDC-T’s problem child, a situation which caused the opposition party to field two parliamentary candidates, Giles Mutsekwa and Arnold Tsunga in last year’s general elections.
Tsunga eventually won the seat.