MDC-T factionalism takes new tribal twist

SOME aspiring MDC-T parliamentary candidates are calling on party supporters to vote only for individuals who originally come from their constituencies in the imminent primaries that are set to be keenly contested.

Staff Writer

Jostling for the right to represent the party is threatening to further widen factional cracks. The party’s Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Japhet Karemba was recently suspended on maladministration charges and replaced by Chitungwiza senator James Makore in an acting capacity.

A party insider confirmed the discord triggered by the appointment of Makore as Mashonaland West acting chairperson.

“The party brought an outsider, Makore, to lead us in the province in order to bring factionalism under control,” said the insider.

“Since the last congress the party is divided into two camps known as Zvipani and Zvinguruve controlled by (secretary-general) Tendai Biti and (national executive member) Elias Mudzuri respectively.”

A bruising battle is expected in Manicaland where provincial spokesperson and MP for Makoni South Pishai Muchauraya is being challenged by veteran journalist Geoffrey Nyarota. The battle has assumed deeply tribal connotations after Nyarota reportedly insinuated Muchauraya, a Ndau, should seek a seat in Chipinge instead of Makoni because it is inhabited by the Maungwe, a Manyika dialect.

All MPs elected in 2008 from Mashonaland West province; Edward Musumbu (Norton), Stewart Garadhi (Chinhoyi), Cleopas Machacha (Kariba) and Takalani Matibe (Chegutu) are being challenged.

Matibe is reportedly facing the stiffest challenge from provincial party member Ernest Mudimu who previously contested and lost the Zvimba North seat against Zanu PF’s Ignatius Chombo.