‘Congress nominations irreversible’ – MDC

Jacob Mafume
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INDIVIDUALS aggrieved by the outcome of specific elections for particular positions, are the ones likely to be affected by any re-runs in the opposition MDC congress, if their appeals are upheld, party spokesperson Jacob Mafume has said.

There have been widespread reports that the MDC internal elections at lower levels, set to culminate in the national congress to be held later this month, have been marred by a host of irregularities including ballot stuffing, intimidation, violence and manipulation of procedures.

A group of disgruntled party members from Bulawayo has already petitioned the party’s national executive council seeking to overturn the provincial elections outcome.

Reports also indicate there will be re-runs in at least five districts in the Midlands while there is growing likelihood that provincial outcomes in Mashonaland Central and Manicaland could be contested or better still overturned.

But Mafume scoffed at suggestion these numerous complaints or appeals could have material effect to the nomination of senior leaders to top jobs including that of party leader Nelson Chamisa.

“Its not possible for anyone to wake up and say we must overturn a provincial outcome. How do they do that? The issue is, if for example an individual who wanted to contest for treasurer have grounds that they were prejudiced of a win, they would appeal and that will be heard on its merits.

“Even if their appeal is successful it would not have a material effect on the delegates who made up the provincial congress to nominate the national leadership. The same people including the losers were party to that process,” said Mafume.

Chamisa was nominated by all 13 MDC political provinces, effectively meaning he will not be contested despite earlier indications that secretary general Douglas Mwonzora might spring a surprise and bid for the presidency.

But insiders argued that, if as is the case in the Midlands five districts were to have their results overturned on the basis of electoral fraud, this would mean the provincial council that sat to nominate national leaders was irregular.

“If the results of these districts are overturned on the basis of manipulation, fraud, disenfranchisement and such other malpractice then the net effect is that the whole process was a charade.

“Let alone if we have one or two provinces having their results overturned,” newzimbabwe.com heard.

But Mafume was adamant that it would be “stretching it too far to expect this.”

“It is like a national election. You cannot say the Zimbabwean election has been contested. One needs to be specific and point to a particular outcome like Mt Pleasant Ward 17 were I represent. If I think there were anomalies that would not be taken to affect all council elections,” Mafume added.

However, newzimbabwe.com is in possession of numerous letters of complaints and appeals regarding the manner in which the congress was held. Mafume would not say when the appeals will be heard. – News Day