SW Radio Africa (London)

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Primaries Expected to Generate Stiff Competition

Next month's round of parliamentary primaries for the MDC-T will likely produce some interesting and shocking results, according to party insiders.

Out of all its sitting parliamentarians and senators who won in 2008, there are predictions a good number will not make it past the primaries, as they have failed to deliver.

But a number of party heavyweights like Secretary General Tendai Biti and organising secretary Nelson Chamisa are considered safe and are likely to win the right to stand again, uncontested in the primaries.

SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that there is heightened tension in the party as party activists jostle for the right to represent the party in the next elections.

'There is going to be some instability in the weeks preceding the primary elections. My good guess as has happened in 2005 and 2008, the majority of sitting MPs who will fall by the wayside are those in urban rather than in rural areas,

'In urban areas you have constituents who are more enlightened and demand the very best from their MPs. A number of them follow the progress of their representatives in newspapers and from radios and televisions and it will be easy to see who has delivered or not,' one party source said.

Political analyst Sanderson Makombe predicts MDC-T supporters would rather elect their parliamentary candidates on merit, and not their standing in the party.

'There is this feeling that the party elected the wrong people during the last party primaries. They're allegations some of them paid their way through to ensure their victories, resulting in the defeat of true, competent and legitimate candidates,' Makombe said.

He continued: 'Some of the current crop of councillors and MP's are embroiled in corruption and loss of integrity, so much that they face a huge task to convince people to re-elect them. There will be shocks certainly as some senior MPs will definitely lose the right to represent the MDC-T.'

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