MDC Chiwundura leadership wrangle rages on

BY Brenna Matendere

The MDC Chiwundura district leadership wrangle is raging on following protests from lower structures against the leaders elected through consensus by ward chairpersons last week.

Ahead of the provincial Midlands MDC provincial congress held in Gweru on April 10, attempts to hold Chiwundura district elections were foiled by rowdy youths who violently argued that the process was not free and fair.

This prompted the district congress to be aborted and a re-run ordered by the MDC national organising department led by Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya.

On the sidelines of the Midlands party caucus last Friday in Gweru, MDC Midlands chairperson Josiah Makombe brought the ward chairpersons together and urged them to unite. The ward chairpersons then pledged to elect a district leadership through consensus.

The development saw Isaac Mumbire being elected chairperson of the district, taking over from incumbent Norman Chinosiya. Farai Muza was elected district secretary while Emmanuel Gwerekwete was voted treasurer. Maxwell Chivandikwa was handed the organising secretary portfolio.

However, the new leadership has been challenged and another round of elections is now expected.

Contacted for comment, Chibaya confirmed that a leadership wrangle had besieged Chiwundura following the election of leaders by consensus.

“The problem will have to be resolved amicably. As the party’s organising department we are dealing with all the disputes that have emerged in districts, Chiwundura included. I am very hopeful that we are going to unite the people and oversee a process that produces leaders of their choice,” he said.

MDC Midlands spokesperson Takavafira Zhou referred questions to Makombe saying he was yet to get a briefing on the Chiwundura dispute.

Makombe highlighted that the concerns raised by Chiwundura party members would be dealt with at the next party’s provincial meeting.

Sources who spoke to NewsDay said the ward chairpersons who elected the leaders by consensus had jumped the gun, hence the current stand-off.

“The ward chairpersons did not consult the lower structures and baseline supporters so consequently their consensus process could not be reflective of the choices of the district,” a source said.

Gokwe-Kabuyuni, Kwekwe and Chirumanzu South are also facing similar leadership disputes and were ordered to conduct fresh district congresses.

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