ED, Chamisa fret over ‘rebels’

THE unprecedented huge number of independent candidates emerging from both the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition MDC Alliance has reportedly unsettled President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his MDC Alliance counterpart, Nelson Chamisa ahead of next month’s general elections.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/EVERSON MUSHAVA

Both Mnangagwa and Chamisa, widely perceived as front-runners in the presidential race, are reportedly at sixes and sevens on how to manage the so-called “rebels” eying parliamentary and council seats.

This comes amid reports that the “rebels” have defiantly embarked on parallel campaign programmes using own-sourced regalia, but with the same parties’ colours and logos, a move likely to confuse voters and divide votes for the parties’ chosen candidates.

Early this week, both Mnangagwa and Chamisa issued ultimatums for the rebels to withdraw their candidature or risk expulsion.

Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha (Mazowe North) and Noah Mangondo (Murewa South) lead a cast of disgruntled Zanu PF cadres, who have forced their way into the elections defying a party directive to stand aside.

Dinha reportedly forced Mashonaland Central Zanu PF provincial chairperson Kazembe Kazembe to sign his nomination papers, while Mangondo also defiantly filed as an independent to contest against Joel Biggie Matiza in Murewa South constituency.

Former Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa (Zvimba South), Biata Nyamupinga (Goromonzi West) and Zalera Makari (Epworth) also joined the long list of aspiring MPs who controversially lost in the Zanu PF primary elections, but went on to register at the nomination court as independents.

Others are Darlington Chiwa (Chiredzi West), Pascal Mudzikisi (Masvingo North) and Michael Taderera (Masvingo Urban).

On the other hand, Chamisa’s MDC Alliance faces even more complex problems after it emerged that many of the independents’ nomination papers were signed by his close MDC-T lieutenants, leading to double nominations in a number of constituencies.

Chamisa’s shaky pre-election pact fielded two candidates in Bikita East, Gutu West, Gutu North, Gutu Central, Masvingo South, Zaka West all in Masvingo province.


Yesterday, MDC-T national chairman Morgen Komichi had given his party’s renegades until the end of day to halt their campaigns and withdraw their candidature, but his directive went unheeded.

“All MDC Alliance members who registered to stand in the elections as independents in House of Assembly and council elections are advised to withdraw their nominations with Zec. Wednesday is the deadline for you to withdraw. I believe all loyal MDC-T cadres will act positively to this lawful instruction. Failure to withdraw by tomorrow (yesterday) the party will be forced to take appropriate action,” Komichi said in a statement.

The opposition alliance has been tottering on the brink amid accusations that Chamisa had allowed double nominations to spite his partners’ “weak” candidates. MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube early this week admitted the MDC-T had ridden roughshod over its partners and wrested allocated constituencies and virtually all local authority seats. The chaos that followed led to the failure of the alliance to present a candidate in Insiza North, reportedly fielding a weaker candidate in Masvingo Central as well as the loss of at least 90 council seats to Zanu PF by default.

Komichi said the issue of double nominations was a phenomena they were grappling with.

“We are investigating the issue to come to terms with what really happened. We have set up a team and it is already on the ground and we intend to take corrective actions,” he said.

Komichi, who doubles up as the MDC Alliance chairperson, confirmed an indaba will be held next week to thrash out issues, but by then the legal window for withdrawal of candidates would have closed.

“The organising department has called for a meeting of all candidates who lost in the party’s primaries. The meeting will be held next Monday. They should come and meet the party’s leadership.

“The purpose of the meeting is to assure them that the party will not abandon them. We cannot all be winners, but there are a lot of positions in both party and government if we win in the forthcoming elections,” he said. “Last Monday, we met with the winning candidates, those who have successfully filed with the nomination court to represent the party in many constituencies.”

The MDC-T chairperson denied allegations that disgruntled members were forced to register as independent candidates after the party leadership imposed its preferred members against popular candidates.

“The leadership was not anywhere near the constituencies when the primary elections were conducted. We never imposed candidates,” Komichi said.

The MDC Alliance fielded double candidates in many constituencies around the country; with Bikita East and Harare South among others, having two alliance partners fighting against each other. Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu also warned that defiant party members standing as independents could face expulsion.

“The position of the party is clear, such acts are unconstitutional and illegal and cannot be condoned by the party. We want to urge those doing so to stop forthwith.

“We are going to institute legal action against such conduct. According to the constitution, once a person stands as an independent candidate against the party you belong to, you are automatically expelled from the party. You cannot be contesting your own party,” Mpofu said.

“They have two options, to stick to their decisions to stand as independent candidates, but stop using Zanu PF symbols or they respect the party’s rules and withdraw their candidature.”

Mpofu said he was receiving reports on the number of candidates who opted to run as independents for both parliamentary and local government seats. He, however, said others were heeding the party’s call and withdrawing.

“Those who defy the party’s decision will face the wrath of the party. The option is theirs. Some of them are very senior and respected and should do the honourable thing and withdraw.

“That’s not the end, they will have to support those who won and contest in future elections. Those who fail to withdraw will have expelled themselves from the party and they know the consequences. It is a rigorous process to be readmitted back in the party,” he said.

Mpofu denied that the party was responsible for the decisions made by the candidates to file as independent after ignoring their concerns regarding the “unfair” conduct of their primary elections.

13 Comments

  1. Chamisa is turning out to be Mugabelike. How does he treat the Alliance with disdain like that? If he deemed the Alliance unnecessary why didn’t he dump it totally? Surely, for someone preaching change from the old ZANU PF habits of doing things to seem to perpetuate the same is a shame

  2. Maitiro ako ayo!

    Tellingly, nothing is more important to Chamisa than the attainment of power and he can thus manipulate with such impunity and malignity that can leave Robert Mugabe dark-green with envy. He has so far managed to bulldoze past Thokozane Khupe, Elias Mudzuri and Welshman Ncube. Charismatic as he is (indeed hundreds of thousands can kill for him and swiftly defend him), he has mastered the art of sweet-tonguing opponents, some of whom are intellectuals of renown, to join his so called big tent with pie in the sky promises. Once the opponents join the tent, they realise that they are mere tenants whose survival depend on the extent to which they pander to the caprices and whims of the ‘big’ brother. Hezvokooo!

  3. This just shows that not only one man can take this nation forward pushing his will upon people but this is a shared responsibility. The only thing to fix is just the decision making tools to the systems. The Ledear is just there to initiate processes and sell his/her ideas not controlling the system completely. The country is full of ideas that are not limited to what ever a certain leader can only say or initiate. So leader must just only manage to ideas only and represent us the people on the world stage but the bulk of the decisions have to come from us the people in our small communites.

  4. Terence Simbi

    This just shows that not only one man can take this nation forward pushing his will upon people but this is a shared responsibility. The only thing to fix is just the decision making tools to the systems. The Ledear is just there to initiate processes and sell his/her ideas not controlling the system completely. The country is full of ideas that are not limited to what ever a certain leader can only say or initiate. So leader must just only manage to ideas only and represent us the people on the world stage but the bulk of the decisions have to come from us the people in our small communites.

    1. Terence Simbi….Thanks a million. Unfortunately in Zimbabwe we are still of the disposition that leaders(including self imposed and coup ones) are a know-all and whatever they say is divine

  5. Martin Dinha has withdrawn and good news for ZANU PF. ED has my vote.

  6. @Terence Simbi. Precisely. Well articulated Terence!

  7. The two front runners are unable to unify their own parties, how will they fair at national level?

  8. Munhumutapa XXII

    Selling yourself as an independent is like selling a car without a brand. People like Temba Mliswa branded themselves and they used the ZANU-PF factional infighting and the MDC ignorance by providing voters in his favour to propel his brand. Then the parliamentary portfolio committees etc. Anyone else on Independent without similar traits ummmmm. Shandisai mari dzenyu kubhadharira vana school fees, not following these kinda pipedreams.

  9. st marys chitungwiza ma primary elections haana kuitwa ndizvo zvakonzera kuwanda kwema independent candidates

  10. Advisory message for Mnanngagwa and Chamisa: This is 2018, 38 years after independence!
    Zimbabweans are now politically mature and will NOT vote for people who failed to deliver, whether endorsed by ZANU PF or MDC. This is more so after the imposition of favoured candidates by both establishments.Such candidates are more inclined to be answerable to their sponsors rather than to the people they purport to represent.
    A lot of loyal people spurned their parties to run as candidates after being rigged out of the primaries. What did you expect them to do?-go down on their knees and beg”god” for mercy?. Not if they know very well they have the support of the people, the voters!So to Rugeje and Komichi, know that Zimbabweans have refused to vote for a party donkey(Muzenda;’s words) whether ZANU PF or MDC. Pamberi ne ma independents, the true representatives of the people!! Pasi ne ma dictators!!

  11. I would say that all these issues, challenges and dis-organisation happening at alliance are as a result of concentrating much on presidential seat at the expense of the parliament and local authority seats. however don’t lose heart my fellow country men all things work together for good to them that love God.

  12. vvivctor@gmail.com

    GO CHAMISA GO.WE SUPPORT YOU

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