BUSINESS at the MDC-T provincial offices in Chinhoyi was briefly grounded last week, after more than 50 disgruntled members blocked the main gate in protest over alleged imposition of candidates to contest this year’s primary elections.
BY NUNURAI JENA/JAIROS SAUNYAMA
The party members were demanding to meet MDC-T provincial chairperson, Ralph Magunje.
“We are sick and tired of provincial leaders who corruptly bring their Johnny-come-lately cronies to represent the party ahead of genuine members because they don’t have money to grease their palms,” an MDC-T activist, who declined to be named for fear of victimisation, said.
Magunje initially accused the protesting members of failing to understand the party policies and candidates’ selection criteria, but later disowned the group as non-MDC-T members.
“There was a misunderstanding among the members about the party position on elections. Some individuals pretended not to understand the youth, women, disabled and war veterans quota system and cause mayhem at the party office. We are going to deal with the culprits who want to tarnish the image of the party,” he said.
But the protestors vowed to continue with the demonstrations until the matter has been resolved by the party’s national executive, claiming the provincial executives was corrupt.
The party experienced similar protests at its headquarters in Harare two weeks ago, although MDC-T leader, Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, chose to downplay the incident.
On Saturday, MDC-T primary elections in Marondera Central were rocked by violence after one of the candidates was reportedly found in possession of more than 20 ballot papers among other irregularities, resulting in the process being postponed to yesterday.
Tempers reportedly flared in ward 4 after one of the contestants was found in possession of ballot papers.
MDC-T Mashonaland East provincial vice organising secretary, Bornface Tagwirei confirmed the incident.
“It is true. The voting process was postponed to Sunday (yesterday) after he was caught writing about 28 ballot papers. We are going to sit down and deliberate on the issue and see what measures are to be taken to deal with such behaviour,” he said.
By yesterday, United Kingdom returnee Caston Matewo was likely to clinch the victory as he was leading in seven of the 12 wards.
Matewo was contesting alongside South Africa-based engineer, Joseph Mphokosera, Marondera district organising secretary, Witness Muzawazi and Masimba Ruzvidzo. Matewo is seeking to replace Ian Kay, who resigned from politics.
He will face Zanu PF ‘s Cleopas Kundiona come July elections.
In ward 1, Marondera district chairperson, Chengetai Murova emerged the winner while incumbent councilors Tagwirei and Dominic Matangira were also victorius.