… as losing candidates demand re-run

THE list of losing MDC-T candidates in the on-going party primary elections demanding reruns in constituencies they lost is growing, as complaints the elections were flawed mount.

Report by Elias Mambo

Party insiders said organising secretary Nelson Chamisa’s office has received petitions and appeals from several candidates, including Owen Matava (Kwekwe Central) and Alec Masomera (Dzivaresekwa).

Willas Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Henry Dzinotyiwei (Budiriro) and Artwel Sibanda (Pumula) have indicated they will soon submit their appeals.
“Chamisa has been bombarded with appeals from constituencies in Bulawayo, Beitbridge, Kwekwe and Harare, all claiming the elections were flawed,” said a top party official.

Losing candidates say the MDC-T is behaving like Zanu PF. “MDC-T is shooting itself in the foot because it is failing to politically mature,” said a Harare losing candidate who alleged “irregularities in the way the elections were run”.

“They are emulating Zanu PF which was destroyed by imposition of candidates since the 2000 elections,” said the candidate.

In Bulawayo, disgruntled MDC-T members have threatened to stage a protest vote against party candidates in the upcoming elections because of irregularities that allegedly marred the ongoing primary elections.

“We were not happy with the imposition of candidates in the recently held primary elections, people are really angry and are mobilising to stage a protest vote,” said a party member from Pumula constituency.

Allegations of irregularities are also emerging from Beitbridge following reports of disgruntlement among members who are accusing Beitbridge East constituency aspiring legislator, Morgan Ncube, and some councillors of vote buying during primary elections.

“We want the whole process nullified. There were a lot of irregularities in the process and if this is not addressed by the party we are going to mobilise people in the district to vote for Zanu PF,” said a source in Beitbridge.

A petition written by the Dzivaresekwa residents in Harare province and shown to the Zimbabwe Independent demands a re-run of the election which saw MDC-T youth president Solomon Madzore cruising to victory amid allegations of rigging.

“Dzivaresekwa has been denied its democratic right to choose a leader of its choice because the primaries were clearly designed to rob Alex Masomere of victory,” reads the petition. “We are very much worried that complaints are coming from all directions and this is a cause for concern for the MDC-T which is a champion of democracy in Zimbabwe.”

In his appeal Masomere wrote: “In this election, Solomon Madzore dubiously and unethically won elections through hook and crook, which our party structures are profusely declaring null and void, and election fraud which must be condemned.” However, Deputy organising Secretary Abednico Bhebhe dismissed allegations of irregularities as a media creation.

“The media is brewing a storm in a tea cup,” Bhebhe said. “In any election the world over people appeal when they lose and it is not surprising when that happens in the MDC-T. We will take each case as it comes and we will follow all the processes,” he said.

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