9 July 2013

Zimbabwe: Mayhem As MDC-T Imposes Senators

AN uproar has erupted in MDC-T after the party failed to hold primary elections for senators and went on to impose sitting legislators and other selected persons to represent it.

This comes as officials accused some aspiring local authority candidates of forging signatures for their superiors for acceptance by the Nomination Court.

MDC-T only managed to hold primary elections for National Assembly candidates and aspiring councillors in an election that was characterised by chaotic scenes.

The party leadership is now under fire from supporters for imposing candidates where the party inexplicably imposed sitting senators and in other constituencies replaced sitting legislators with new faces.

One notable sitting senator removed was Chisipite representative, Mr Obert Gutu.

Party spokesperson, Mr Douglas Mwonzora denied that they imposed candidates for the Upper House but admitted that no primary elections were conducted.

"It is not true that we imposed candidates. What happened was that time for primaries had run out as a result of the sudden proclamation of election dates by the President.

"The party made a decision that sitting MPs will be retained while others would be selected using certain criterion like gender, years served in the party," said Mr Mwonzora.

Asked why Sen Gutu was left out, Mr Mwonzora said the Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs was affected by the gender quota system.

"We had four male senators and two females in Harare. That is not consistent with our party constitution. Sen Gutu would inevitably be re-assigned," said Mr Mwonzora.

Some party candidates in local authority election are being accused of forging signatures, a situation that has seen the party fielding more than one person in a single ward.

The vice was rampant in Chitungwiza where several people submitted their names after they were not happy with the candidate selection system where either elections were rigged or people were imposed.

Mr Mwonzora yesterday said they were dealing with the problem.

"In Chitungwiza, the person who had his signature forged is taking them to court. The issue of forging signatures and scanning them did not only occur in Chitungwiza. There are other cases in Mutasa and Chipinge," he said.

Chitungwiza provincial chairperson, Mr Alexio Musundire said he was taking legal action against the culprits.

"They scanned my signature and took it to the Nomination Court," he said.

Musundire said he filed the papers on Tuesday seeking to block the candidates who wanted to stand on an MDC-T ticket.

The culprits include some former councillors.

They are Boniface Manyonganise, Matthew Ngarande, Brighton Kanyama, David Rukweza, Wendy Chirindi, Tinashe Kazuru, Muchaneta Zimura Garata, Wellington Bhebhe and Tichaona Munhepi.

The party has been rocked by allegations of vote rigging, imposition of candidates since it started its primary elections.

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