MDC-T ‘big guns’ unchallenged in party primaries

Nelson Chamisa will not be challenged in the party primaries

By Tichaona Sibanda
01 February 2013

A number of the MDC-T ‘big guns’, including the party’s national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, are not facing any challenges for the party primaries.

By Thursday, the deadline date to submit applications, Chamisa was the only candidate to send in his CV to contest the Kuwadzana seat which he holds. The primaries are set to be held before the end of this month.

Others not being contested include the party’s foreign policy guru, Jameson Timba (Mt Pleasant), secretary-general Tendai Biti (Harare East), Elias Mudzuri (Warren Park) and lesser known Fanwell Munengani (Glen View).

Many people in the MDC-T had written off Mudzuri after he lost his cabinet post in a reshuffle in 2011. They had already written his political obituary, going as far as speculating that he will be defeated in the primaries.

Outside Harare, deputy treasurer-general, Elton Mangoma (Makoni North) in Manicaland, and party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora, will sail through without going through the internal election process.

Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that a substantial number of national executive and standing committee members are not being challenged in their constituencies.

‘It’s still early to say how many, as the process is still ongoing. The deadline was yesterday (Thursday) but a number of other districts have asked for an extension to deal with teething problems,’ he said.

The Nyanga North MP explained that anyone with no challengers will automatically be duly confirmed as party candidates for the harmonized elections.

‘It shows that most of our leaders and MPs have received a big vote of confidence by the electorate in their leadership,’ said Mwonzora. He added that the party encourages competition, as evidenced by a huge number of applicants seeking to dislodge sitting MP’s.

The spokesman explained that each application, sent via the individual’s district executive, contains comments endorsed by the district leadership. The district leadership however is not empowered to disqualify candidates at provincial level.

‘The verification of application has begun to see comments made from districts. So the process of qualification and disqualification has started. For some they will fall on this first hurdle, if as an example, their applications are endorsed with negative comments such as being found guilty of corruption or having had engaged in violence against each other,’ Mwonzora said.

While it will be plain sailing for sitting MPs and cabinet ministers, it’s not the case with Giles Mutsekwa, the MDC-T’s National Housing Minister.

Mutsekwa is probably one of many cabinet ministers in the inclusive government who is facing an acid test in the party primaries. The current MP for Chikanga-Dangamvura in Mutare is being challenged by Brian James, the suspended Mayor of the city, and former footballer and popular lawyer Arnold Tsunga.

Meanwhile ZANU PF is set to hold primary elections after the referendum in March. Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said in Harare this week that the former ruling party would wait for the referendum to be held before they call for their primaries. He said ZANU PF was still crafting rules that would govern the primaries.

Political analyst Mutsa Murenje told us primary elections in any political party are mandatory and in the best interests of democracy.

‘They provide us with an array of options so that after all is said and done, the winner will know he or she has the people’s support. Some of the sitting legislators, as an example, found themselves in parliament not because of their talents, skills or experience but because of their financial muscle,’ he said.

Murenje continued: ‘Have they done anything to develop their areas or advance the democratic cause? Some are mere place holders and should therefore be challenged even by the young turks. No one is invincible in a democracy, pass the democratic test, primary election, and go ahead to deliver.’

5 Responsesto “MDC-T ‘big guns’ unchallenged in party primaries”

  1. wilbert_mukori says:

    Whilst MDC leaders have their eyes totally focused on getting back of the gravy train “whatever the magnitude” of political violence; Zanu PF meanwhile are more pragmatic and are focused on getting the referendum to approve the Copac rubbish first. If Zanu PF was to hold its party primary elections now before the referendum, everyone knows the party will find it near impossible to rein in its unruly supporters to hold back on the violence. That would be disastrous for Mugabe and Zanu PF because if there is one thing that would spook the Zimbabwe electorate into voting no in the referendum is violence on the ground.

    After the referendum the election date will then be decided. Mugabe and Zanu PF will then decide what would be the most advantageous date, for the party to hold its own party primary elections, have campaign and then the polls.

    MDC keeps talking of having more reforms implemented but the truth is once the referendum approves the constitution there will simply be no time for that. A yes in the referendum is the point of no return; no reforms will be implemented after that. Zanu PF will have its party primary elections and as night follows day the party will roll out its campaign of violence! There will be nothing MDC can do to stop the violence or stop the elections.

    Political violence is a serious problem, the one thing that would have the greatest impact in this election process; MDC is wrong to take their eyes off this issue and the party and whole nation will pay dearly for it!

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      Sorry Wilbert for the obsession you have for the COPAC initiative but the subject under discussion the big guns in MDC-T who are unchallenged in their party primaries. I am sure you are beginning to appreciate that absolute power really corrupts. Almost twenty years in power, Tsvangirai and his ruling cabal do not want to relinquish power and control.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        How can MDC be focused on elections when they have not done everything to ensure the elections are free and fair!

        “Big guns” my foot! MDC has some of the most incompetent politicians in history led by the most incompetent leader of all time!

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          Well said Wilbert and yet Yepec is a die-hard for the MDC. It has been observed for a long time indeed that he can not see the glaring incompetencies of Tsvangirai and his lieutenants. Perhaps its time you convince him to change course and be like some of us who are libertarians. Yepec is a reasonably clever man who not follow politicians who are as blind as a bat.

          • wilbert_mukori says:

            Yepec is as blind as a bat in his support of incompetent MDC just as Chimbwido, now masquerading as a libertarian, is as blind as a bat in his support of corrupt and murderous Zanu

            In the referendum that is coming up what Zimbabweans have to realize is that it is not a Tsvangirai vs Mugabe, or MDC vs Zanu PF issue; this a lot more than that. This is a national issue whose consequences will be reverberating long after Tsvangirai and Mugabe are dead and buried and the political parties have broken up and transformed so that all that would remain is the names, if that at all. And that is why we must rise above petty personality or party politics and think what is good for Zimbabwe and posterity.

            We deserve for ourselves and our children and our children’s children a constitution that grant us and future generations in their turn all the basic rights including the right to free and
            fair elections and the right to life! This Copac rubbish does not grant us these rights and that is why we must vote NO in the referendum in the interest of Zimbabwe and posterity!

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