By Staff Reporter
HARARE – The MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora is undergoing a fresh turmoil threatening intra-party stability as jostling for provincial leadership reaches fever-pitch.
The chaos has rocked all the provinces as warring factions in the opposition movement are battling to secure influential positions in the provinces to ensure control of key party structures.
The infighting has been reported in Matebeleland South, Masvingo, Mashonaland East, Harare, Matebeleland North and Bulawayo, among other provinces.
Sources close to the developments told this publication on Tuesday that a faction linked to the national spokesperson, Witness Dube and deputy organising secretary Rhino Mashaya had to call off provincial elections in Bulawayo last Friday after it became clear that their preferred candidates were going to lose.
Top MDC-T members eyeing posts at the ordinary congress are reportedly financing the “rigging” of structures, where non-members are bussed in for the purposes of voting and elections are “secretly” conducted.
Nketa Member of Parliament Phelela Masuku, Entumbane Member of Parliament Dingulwazi Tshuma, Mpopoma-Pelandaba chairperson Mbuso Sibanda, Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni and Nkulumane organizing Secretary, Lungani Ndebele are vying for the provincial chairperson position to replace Gift Banda, who was elevated to the national executive committee in February this year.
Ndebele confirmed that all was not well.
“The reason why there is massive disgruntlement is that provincial elections were supposed to be held on Friday last week at Ascot Racecourse.
“After it became apparent that the slate which was being backed by Dube and Mashaya had no numbers, the election was postponed.
“Their excuse was that the numbers were over and above the 100 people permitted under COVID-19 guidelines but it was clear to everyone that they feared humiliation because they had no numbers,” he said.
“Any gap filling exercise must be open and transparent for it to be acceptable to the people of Bulawayo. We have to start with the 2014 structure, verify who is in and who is not.
“We are shocked to hear that Dube and Mashaya went on to conduct an election “secretly” at an unknown location without notifying everyone.
“We are not going to accept that neither are we going to co-operate with such an executive. The party constitution is clear on how elections are conducted and who constitutes an electoral college for the purposes of a provincial election.
“As a province we are still consulting on the way forward but what is clear is that almost all the districts of Bulawayo will not recognize the outcomes of that ‘secret’ election.
“We are clear that the 2014 structure is the basis of any gapfilling exercise or election. Those who think that they will impose their preferred leaders on the people of Bulawayo are wrong because we are definitely going to resist that.
“So as far as we are concerned, what Dube and Mashaya did is a non-event. We are clear that a proper gapfilling exercise must be conducted.
“We got an assurance from the national organizing secretary that such an exercise will be announced in time and everyone will be invited. We are clear that party processes must be conducted in an open and transparent manner,” Ndebele added.
Efforts to get a comment from Dube and Mashaya were fruitless.