Chaos erupts in MDC-T ahead of congress as Mwonzora plots to rig elections, Khupe flexes her muscles

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MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has been accused of plotting to rig his way to the opposition party’s presidency.

He is also facing allegations of trying to manipulate the voters roll to be used at the extraordinary congress on December 19.

Mwonzora is hoping to edge party leader Thokozani Khupe at the congress which was ordered by the Supreme Court in March this year.

Other candidates in the presidential race include chairperson Morgen Komichi and his deputy Elias Mudzuri.

As the congress draws nearer, there are allegations that candidates are plotting against each other and that tensions are high.

It is alleged that Khupe, Mudzuri and Komichi’s backers are ganging up against Mwonzora whom they accuse of plotting to manipulate party structures which form the electoral college.

Mwonzora is also accused of deploying some provincial chairpersons to identify people to fill vacant positions in the 2014 structures ordered by the court to conduct the congress.

The move was stopped at Wednesday’s caucus meeting where Khupe reportedly flexed her muscle and ruled that no vacancies would be filled.

On Friday, a list of district executive members for Mutoko South alleged to have been prepared by Mwonzora’s backers showed that of the 19 members listed, only seven were bona fide members of the 2014 structures.

The list has triggered a storm in the party, with claims that manipulations had begun in Harare, Chitungwiza, Mashonaland East and West provinces.

“Mwonzora has been using Piniel Denga, provincial chairman for Mashonaland East, Lloyd Damba (provincial secretary of Chitungwiza and Simon Hove, Harare provincial treasurer who is masquerading as provincial chairman,” a party official who refused to be named because he is not authorised to talk to the media, said.

Two weeks ago, Denga allegedly summoned all Mashonaland East district chairpersons and ordered them to find three people for each wing to be included in the structures that will form the electoral college.

“Mwonzora is trying even to falsify structures in Harare, We know all people who remain in our structures. The rest went with Chamisa,” the party official said.

“But we are watching him. We know all the people in our structures and our secretary for elections, Mudzingwa Gandi is an honest man, he has the true 2014 structures, so Mwonzora is going nowhere. He (Mwonzora) claims his launch was oversubscribed with people, but all of them are not in the structures, the majority are those who hated Tsvangirai and were fired and are now back in his camp.

The official castigated the party’s failure to hold in person national council meetings so that people could identify each other, alleging a plot to manipulate the structures.

But Mwonzora denied that he was plotting to ambush his opponents by manipulating the voters’ role.

“This is the work of people who are developing butterflies about this election. They are afraid of losing because the members of the MDC-T have already shown their voting patterns.

“The electoral college to be used by congress is going to be tabled before the national standing committee on Tuesday.

“It is at that point that the leaders will be able to analyse it. Further, after we have finalised the electoral college on Tuesday, we will send it back to the districts for further verification.

“Thereafter, the electoral college will be put in the hands of an independent electoral commission,” Mwonzora said.

Acting MDC-T spokesperson Tapiwa Mashakada said the party would use strict measures to ensure that bona fide members of the 2014 structures would vote.

“Our election teams are compiling the roll and once done, it will be taken back to all provinces for verification by members.

“The congress preparations are going on well,” he said.

— NewsDay


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