Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Disgruntled MDC-T members are leaving the party ahead of by-elections scheduled for 26 March this year alleging widespread rigging of primary elections.
Some of the opposition party members who contested the 2018 general elections are leaving the party in anger over reports suggesting that party leader Douglas Mwonzora wants to dump vice president Thokozani Khupe before the elective congress set to be held in March. Khupe’s aide, Ntando Ndlovu, said:
There are many people who are abandoning the election process and have withdrawn from the primaries because they feel that Mwonzora wants to expel Khupe as he fears that he may lose the top leadership position to the former deputy prime minister.
Those that are abandoning the primaries say they cannot be elected when Mwonzora and his colleagues want to recall her from parliament while giving Khupe a hard time every day.
Ndlovu said the Mwonzora faction has disbanded several party structures across the country and then handpicked its people to fill the positions. Added Ndlovu:
There are several party structures that have been dismantled and this has resulted in some people abandoning the electoral process. We are unhappy about what is going on.
For example, the party structures were dismantled in Ascot when people chose their leadership but Mwonzora’s colleagues then decided to handpick their own people to fill all the positions.
In Bulawayo, people are protesting that the 2014 structures have been dumped.
It’s not in Bulawayo alone where five people withdrew as there are many people doing the same in different parts of the country.
We know that in Daluka Ward in Lupane, the person who was supposed to be the candidate withdrew from the primaries and the same happened in the Midlands province and in Harare and Chitungwiza.
However, MDC-T secretary for information and publicity, Witness Dube, dismissed the claims, saying all the people who withdrew were mere aspiring candidates and had not been nominated to represent the party in the forthcoming by-elections. He added:
It’s common to have people withdrawing from primary elections and so nothing is amiss about what these people are doing.