May 28 2018 – SA based political activist Daniel Molokele also known as Fortune Mguni won resoundingly in Hwange Central as several Several MDC-T bigwigs, among them sitting Members of Parliament and vice president Elias Mudzuri, lost the primary elections characterised by violence, chaos and allegations of vote rigging.
Molokele who has been based in SA for more than a decade trounced sitting MP Brian
Tshuma by bagging 1017 against Tshuma who got a paltry 77.
A former student activist from the University of Zimbabwe and founder of the Learnmore Jongwe Trust, is well known in Zimbabwean politics in SA.
Meanwhile sitting legislators such as Messrs Gift Chimanikire, (Southerton), Webster Maondera (Glen Norah), Fani Munengami (Glen View Noidadi (Mabvuku-Tafara) and Simon Chidhakwa (Zengeza West) lost the primary polls.
Other bigwigs who lost include Jameson Timba (Mount Pleasant) and women assembly chairperson Lynette Karenyi (Dangamvura-Chikanga).
Highly placed sources said MDC-T VP Mudzuri was livid over the decision to subject him to primary elections in Warren Park constituency pitting him against “little- known political novices”, saying the decision was mean’t to reduce him to a political midget.
They said the decision was aimed at reducing him into a political midget.
Mudzuri said he was in discussions with the party hierarchy to ensure that the election template was adhered to.
“As a vice president I cannot be seen being challenged by junior people unless the idea is to reduce me into a political midget. Besides, some of these people do not fit into the election template that we have set as a party. You cannot have a whole vice president going into a ward and subjected to primaries with junior members. I am in the presidium and have been acting president,” said Eng Mudzuri.
He said the challenges in the party were not insurmountable and a solution would be found.
“Nowhere in the world do you see that happening. It is a joke. I hope someone is not playing political games meant to reduce me into a midget,” said Eng Mudzuri.
Chimanikire, who lost to Councillor Peter Moyo, described the primary elections as chaotic.
He said he would soon launch an appeal.
“There were several misdemeanours. People who had voted would mingle with those that had not voted and they would swap party cards and ended up voting more than once. Besides, there was no register because the presiding officer refused to use it saying it was shambolic. As a result people who were not party members were allowed to vote because they swapped cards,” said Mr Chimanikire.
Others complained that the issue of seniority was being selectively applied.
They said in Budiriro, sitting MP Costa Machingauta was protected against Councillor Panganai Charumbira.
When contacted, MDC-T acting national chairperson Morgan Komichi said those aggrieved with the process should notify the party leadership.
“I have more than 50 appeals across the country and very soon we shall set up an appeals committee and if there is any injustice a re-run will be ordered. People also ought to understand that seniority is in two parts, seniority in terms of rank and in terms of time spent in the party. One might be a national executive member but another person might be in the district but could have joined the party in 1999 at its inception. In that case we say let the people decide. The election template is there just to guide us as a party,” said Komichi.
He said the party had resolved to have Eng Mudzuri in the Senate and had been exempted from contesting the constituency.
“We are almost 80 percent complete with primaries in Harare province,” he said.
In Kuwadzana East, party deputy treasurer Charlton Hwende traded accusations of violence and vote rigging with his rival, Shakespeare Mukoyi.
Mr Hwende accused Mr Mukoyi of unleashing violent party youths, commonly known as “the vanguard”, on his supporters.
“The election has since been aborted because of Mukoyi’s violent character and we now wait to hear the way forward from the national election directorate,” said r Hwende yesterday.
Mukoyi denied the allegations.
He accused Hwende of trying to impose himself in the constituency. – Patience Rusere additional reporting Herald