|MDC members fight at the Masvingo Urban district elections in Rhodene|
fists fly at district elections
Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has hit turbulent waters in Masvingo after members of
rival camps fought each other during district elections conducted last weekend.
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.
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.
a year later, Chamisa suspended the whole executive after realising that infighting
and parallel structures were further weakening the party in the province.
accused the Gumbi-led provincial executive of fermenting divisions in the
province before ordering new elections in 11 of the party’s districts across
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.
district elections went on smoothly in seven districts but the atmosphere
changed in three districts of Chiredzi East, Masvingo Urban, Bikita West and
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
told TellZim News that they are going to do re-runs in Masvingo Urban and
Bikita West on a date to be announced.
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.
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.
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.
is completely uncalled for to attack fellow members because they are
participating in our internal democratic processes,” said Matutu.