Gideon Mangena has been endorsed as MDC Alliance’s official candidate for Bulawayo’s ward 24 (Nketa), ending weeks of confusion after PDP’s Arnold Batirai Dube had “appointed himself” the coalition’s representative.
BY NIZBERT MOYO
Mangena was seconded to the ward by Welshman Ncube’s MDC, which is a member of the MDC Alliance.
MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial chairperson Gift Banda on Wednesday confirmed Mangena as their candidate.
“It is Mangena whom we know as our party candidate for ward 24, in Nketa. All our structures are supporting him.
Those who tear other candidates’ posters should be reported to the police. Batirai comes from PDP and is not the candidate for the alliance,” Banda said.
Mangena said: “He (Dube) hires people to tear down my posters and replaces them with his posters in the ward and he goes around telling people that I have been disqualified, but when we signed the papers in the office, I was the only candidate supported by the party. He belongs to PDP. The vice-president of PDP, Kucaca Phulu, failed to tell him to withdraw.”
Mangena said he had since reported the issue to the police.
Contacted for comment, Dube dismissed Mangena’s accusations, saying he was the one who was seconded by the party to represent the alliance in the ward.
“My papers were signed by the party and this ward was allocated to PDP during the negotiations. Mangena was told to withdraw. These people are politicking. My posters are the ones which are being pulled down every day and I am now replacing them, so I have resorted to door-to-door campaigns,” he said.
He added that people had encouraged him to be strong, indicating that he knew that he was dealing with a strong personality as he (Mangena) belonged to the MDC Veteran Activists Association.
“I am working well with the structures and have been staying here in Nketa for the past 10 years,” he said.