MDC-T parliamentary aspirants for Dzivaresekwa have accused the party leadership of trying to impose youth leader Solomon Madzore as the candidate for the constituency ahead of the forthcoming elections.
BY CHRISTOPHER MAHOVE
Party national youth spokesperson, Clifford Hlatshwayo, told supporters at a rally in Dzivaresekwa last Sunday that the national executive had resolved that Madzore should stand uncontested in the constituency currently held by Evelyn Masaiti.
“As to who will stand in Dzivaresekwa is a national resolution. The youth are the eyes of the party and we agreed as a party. As the spokesperson of the party, I am simply announcing the resolution. Who are you kupikisa Save, who are you kupikisa ziso remusangano?” (Who are you to go against Tsvangirai?) he said.
Madzore is in Bindura remand prison after he was recently arrested on allegations of calling President Robert Mugabe a “limping donkey”.
The Bindura magistrate Elisha Chingono on Monday last week granted Madzore US$100 bail, but prosecutor Munyaradzi Mataranyika blocked his release by invoking a controversial law which allows suspects to be held for up to seven more days while the State appeals against the granting of bail at the High Court.
Hlatshwayo said Masaiti had left the constituency to make way for Madzore and there was no reason to have any primaries in the area. He said resources meant for the primary elections in Dzivaresekwa should instead be channelled to other constituencies.
“We want to thank Masaiti, who said she had played her part and was now handing over to Solo. You know as the MDC, we pass on the baton. Who are you to want to stop a mother from passing on the baton to her son?
“We are not going to waste party resources holding primaries here. We want those resources to be used elsewhere. Take them to Uzumba and Dotito, we are done with Dzivaresekwa,” he said.
Hlatshwayo’s statement has riled other aspiring candidates in the constituency, who felt this was a direct attack on the party’s principles of democracy.
One aspiring candidate who was elbowed out of the primaries race said he would appeal to the party leadership against his disqualification and hinted he might consider running on an independent ticket.
Party supporters are divided over the candidature of the youth league president, with others saying they would prefer a local candidate to represent them in parliament.
Only one out of the five MPs who have represented the area since independence in 1980, Edson Wadyehwata, was resident in the area.
Masaiti could not be reached for comment yesterday. It was not clear whether she was opting to contest a seat in her home province of Masvingo or is earmarked to benefit from the 60 seats reserved for women under the new constitution.