By NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has barred party members aspiring for various positions at its upcoming congress to stop using “pictorial advertising” before confirmation of their candidature.
The opposition party holds its elective congress in May — the first since the death of its founder Morgan Tsvangirai in February last year. The election comes at a time several former MDC rebels had rejoined the party now led by Chamisa.
Social media has been awash with posters of aspiring candidates vying for certain positions well ahead of their official nomination, forcing the MDC’s national organising department to step in to stop the practice.
“At a meeting of the standing committee held on April, 3, 2019 it was resolved that all aspiring candidates must with immediate effect cease using pictorial advertising to market themselves,” MDC deputy national organising secretary Bekithemba Sibanda wrote in a memo dated April 4.
The memo was copied to MDC standing committee members, national executive and provincial executive members.
“Aspiring candidates can only do so after they have been officially certified as nominated at the relevant congresses,” Sibanda added.
MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the directive was necessary to avoid a shambolic campaign ahead of the congress.
“We are saying, you cannot have people just waking up to put campaign posters, some for various positions ahead of being nominated, it’s shambolic. Aspiring candidates have to be nominated first,” Mafume said yesterday.
According to the template, a candidate is eligible to contest for any position from ward up to national levels if they have served in the party for at least five years while branches have a minimum of two years.
The party has been holding branch and district congresses that have, however, been marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging, among other malpractices. Provincial congresses are running from April 5 to 27.