Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Warring MDC factions threaten to tear Masvingo apart

MDC members fight at the Masvingo Urban district elections in Rhodene 


…as
fists fly at district elections

Upenyu Chaota
The
Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has hit turbulent waters in Masvingo after members of
rival camps fought each other during district elections conducted last weekend.
The
clashes pitted members of the James Gumbi and Tongai Matutu factions, leading
to the abortion of the Masvingo district elections as one party activist
grabbed a ballot box and tossed it about.
The
MDC factional fights in Masvingo stem from the controversial provincial and
district congresses held last year where the Gumbi faction retained the
leadership of the province much to the dissatisfaction of the Matutu faction.
Barely
a year later, Chamisa suspended the whole executive after realising that infighting
and parallel structures were further weakening the party in the province.
Chamisa
accused the Gumbi-led provincial executive of fermenting divisions in the
province before ordering new elections in 11 of the party’s districts across
the province.
The
congress re-runs were ordered in Chiredzi East, Bikita South, Bikita West, Gutu
North, Gutu Central, Gutu West, Mwenezi East, Masvingo North, Masvingo Central,
Masvingo South and Masvingo Urban districts.
The
district elections went on smoothly in seven districts but the atmosphere
changed in three districts of Chiredzi East, Masvingo Urban, Bikita West and
Masvingo North.
The
elections were not held in Chiredzi East after the presiding officer is said to
have failed to cross a flooded river and Masvingo North failed to vote after
the Matutu faction protested against the election venue.
The
Matutu faction is said to have won all the districts which were conducted but
their victory could no longer be tolerated in Masvingo Urban and Bikita West.
There
was violence in Masvingo Urban at the party’s provincial offices where former
district chairperson Murangamwa Chanyau allegedly aligned to the Gumbi faction
was seemingly losing to team Matutu.
Though
MDC national organizing secretary Amos Chibaya had ordered supporters to desist
from drinking beer during the voting process, drunk members allegedly aligned
to Gumbi stormed the provincial offices and took the ballot boxes and destroyed
them.
This
led to a confrontation with those allegedly aligned to Matutu and the whole
process was aborted. In Bikita West, violence also broke out after members
allegedly aligned to Gumbi ran away with ballot boxes.
Chibaya
told TellZim News that they are going to do re-runs in Masvingo Urban and
Bikita West on a date to be announced.
“There
were disturbances in in Masvingo Urban and Bikita West so we are going to do
re-runs again on a date to be advised,” said Chibaya.
The
suspended provincial chairperson Gumbi could not be drawn into comment but his
rival Matutu told TellZim News that he was not after any position, adding that people
must shun violence.
“All
I want to see is democracy where people are freely allowed to exercise their
voting rights without fear. The culture of violence in some of our people
should be condemned.
“It
is completely uncalled for to attack fellow members because they are
participating in our internal democratic processes,” said Matutu.  

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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