MDC-T president Mr Nelson Chamisa faces rebellion from sitting Members of Parliament for imposing a $1 000 non-refundable application fee for sitting MPs who want to be considered as candidates in the harmonised elections later this year.
Those who are not MPs will pay only $100.
The MPs accuse Mr Chamisa of deviating from an earlier pledge not to subject them to primary elections.
This was after the legislators supported Mr Chamisa’s power grab following the death of party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai last month.
The MDC-T legislators view the punitive fee as a deliberate ploy by Mr Chamisa to eliminate them from the race.
They claim Mr Chamisa wants to replace them with his cronies with student activism background.
The MDC-T has since written a circular to party members inviting those interested to submit their curriculum vitaes.
“The national council is calling for applications from all eligible members of the party who wish to be on the panel of candidates as per the attached template. These candidates are called upon to submit their CVs to their provincial committees,” read the circular.
According to the circular, candidate selection would start with those constituencies and wards that had no representation, which the party refer to as “orphaned” constituencies and council wards.
“Both applications for the national panel list and orphaned constituencies and wards shall attract the following fees. A councillor rural $10 and urban $50. Proportionate Representative $150 and sitting MPs $1 000. Please note that no provincial executive committee nor executive can disqualify an applicant,” reads the circular.
“We had agreed from the time when Mr Tsvangirai was alive that the party had no money for campaigns and sitting MPs should use their vehicles and resources to campaign in other constituencies in return for a free ticket to represent the party. The problem now is that Mr Chamisa wants to bring in his hangers on and cronies. This is happening at a time when we thought we will not be challenged and having spent our resources campaigning in other constituencies,” said one MP.
The MDC-T acting pokesperson, Ms Thabitha Khumalo, referred questions to the party’s national deputy chairperson, Mr Morgan Komichi, when contacted for comment.
Mr Komichi was not reachable on his mobile phone
A standing committee member defended the decision.
“They have been in Parliament for five years and earning a salary in the region of $2 000 per month. The party is merely asking for $1 000 to oil party campaigns and that is not asking too much,” said the senior party official.