SMARTING from a controversial poll drubbing by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in the July 31 general elections, MDC-T supporters have called for the dissolution of the party’s national executive and standing committee accusing the leadership of incompetence and naivety, among other glaring shortcomings.
Members of the party’s supporters’ forum presented a document to the Zimbabwe Independent detailing their grievances and called for urgent introspection.
The supporters added their voice to growing calls for the party to search within itself for answers “in view of the disgraceful performance in the just-ended elections on July 31”.
The MDC-T held a two-day elections post-mortem meeting this week.
“The supporters are so upset and despondent about what happened,” reads the document.
“They are putting the blame squarely on the leadership comprising the executive and the standing committee for lacking political wisdom and experience to match Zanu PF’s rigging strategies.”
Forum representatives, who refused to be identified, said the party was well aware of their grievances, but accused senior officials of blocking their planned meetings with secretary-general Tendai Biti and national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa.
“We tried on several occasions in the run-up to the elections to meet Biti and Chamisa, but their secretaries frustrated us at every turn,” said a forum member.
While acknowledging the MDC-T’s allegations that a combination of massive intimidation of voters, systematic rigging and disenfranchisement of potential voters, among other factors, cost them at the polls, the supporters said the party should still shoulder the blame for its crushing defeat.
They said it was strange the party was now crying foul alleging rigging yet it was warned beforehand that Zanu PF would use the familiar strategy to win the elections.
The forum said the party had continuously ignored warnings on the need to consult party members and instead chose to stick to its undemocratic ways of choosing candidates by confirmation or imposition.
The supporters argued the imposition of candidates ranged from Sunningdale constituency in Harare, Dangamvura-Chikanga in Mutare (Manicaland) to Bulawayo where various former sitting legislators, including Felix Magalela Sibanda and Samuel Khumalo, ditched the party in protest and contested the elections as independents.
In Dangamvura-Chikanga, party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s chosen candidate outgoing Housing minister Giles Mutsekwa was thumped by lawyer Arnold Tsunga.
The party’s provincial chairperson Julius Magarangoma abandoned all protocol and took to social media to attack the “snakes, cups and kitchens within the party who went out to openly rig elections and in some cases even impose candidates in primary elections in Buhera West and Chipinge Central”. This was in reference to the “kitchen cabinet” — is Tsvangirai’s inner circle often accused of making unilateral decisions.