More than a week ago, The Insider said that Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa, who up to now seems to have been focusing on his presidential campaign, could be ignoring a major problem festering within the party- that of the selection of party candidates for the coming elections. It said that the selection of candidates was one of the reasons why the party lost the 2013 elections. But the party has tried to brush off simmering problems within the party saying its primary elections will not be as chaotic as those of its main rival, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. Its initial deadline, set for 12 May, has come and gone. Another week, ending May 19, came and went. Now primary elections for Harare and Chitungwiza are set for this weekend. Even where the primary elections have been held, there are complaints that candidates were imposed.
Here is what The Insider wrote on 14 May:
The selection of candidates for the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance was supposed to be smoother than the chaotic Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front primary elections which saw some candidates threatening decampaign party leader Emmerson Mnangagwa because, they claimed, the elections had been rigged.
But 12 May has come and gone and only Welshman Ncube’s MDC has released its list of 31 Parliamentary candidates.
Morgen Komichi, acting chairman of the MDC-T faction led by Nelson Chamisa, promised that the candidate selection within his party would be completed by 12 May but according to Newsday chaos and violence rocked the party’s consensus-building meetings to select candidates with reports saying top party officials attempted to impose their preferred candidates.
A sitting legislator Jessie Majome has pulled out because it is not clear who will be voting in the primary elections. She even claimed that people were being bussed into her constituency, Harare West, for the candidate selection.
Nothing has been heard yet from the other Alliance partners: Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, Jacob Ngarivhume’s Transform Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe People First, Multi-Racial Christian Democrats, and ZANU-Ndonga.
Although Chamisa has represented the face of the Alliance, he seems to have totally ignored the dilemma that the Alliance is facing, especially his own MDC-T, that of the distribution of seats in the Alliance.
This has never been clearly spelt out, though according to the Independent, Chamisa’s party, the core of the Alliance, will only contest 114 of the 210 seats.
This was the major bone of contention between late president of the MDC-T Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokozani Khupe.
She did not agree on the seat distribution because she felt that the MDC-T could go it alone because in 2008 it beat ZANU-PF winning 100 seats against ZANU-PF’s 99.
According to the Independent, Welshman Ncube’s MDC was to contest 32 seats. It has fielded 31 candidates.
Biti’s faction was allocated 14 seats, while Agrippa Mutambara’s ZimPF was offered 30 seats, and Ngarivhume, 19 with the MCD getting 1.
There was nothing for ZANU-Ndonga according to the Independent list.
Most of the MDC-T supporters were against the Alliance because the other parties were only bringing leaders and no supporters.
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