The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) faction-ridden Masvingo Provincial Executive was at the weekend suspended by party leader Nelson Chamisa, amid a dismal performance in a Mwenezi by election last week.
The party reportedly had a heated debate on Sunday in Masvingo, which eventually led to a decision to suspend the entire provincial leadership setup.
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) director Pedzisai Ruhanya welcomed the decision and added that most of the suspended leaders were residing in Harare hence failing to deliver in the mandated areas.
“The decision to put these leaders on suspension is welcome given that more than half of the MDC officials in Masvingo reside in Harare.
“They just went there as visitors, they are more of tourist leaders.
“MDC cannot justify 27 votes. It shows there is sickness in how MDC structures were set in Masvingo,” Ruhanya said.
In a statement circulating on social media, a disgruntled MDC supporter identified as Nyasha Munemo said factionalism was at the centre of MDC troubles.
“It’s not Zanu that is costing MDC elections, it’s factionalism and imposition of candidates. The truths always has a way of coming out. By-elections are showing voter apathy by MDC supporters,” said Munemo.
Munemo accused Chamisa of being part of the failed Masvingo leadership.
“The by elections results are telling, we may blame Zanu dirty tactics. But in Masvingo today the President openly admitted that things are falling apart.
“He was forced to expel the entire provincial leadership. What Chamisa forgets is that he is equally part of the Masvingo province problem. He hails from Masvingo but wants to label himself as someone not from Masvingo. You are a part of the failed Masvingo Leadership,” Munemo added.
Responding to the allegations by Munemo, Ruhanya told this publication that the tone of the message was of someone who lost position and trying to mobilise losers.
“Most people who complain are losers. The fact is that majority of candidates are chosen popularly. The tone of that message circulating is that of a disgruntled person who is actually attempting to destabilize the MDC.
“The person appears to be an agent provocateur. That person sees nothing good done by Chamisa which is nonsense. The person is trying to mobilize losers to destabilize MDC and Chamisa leadership. I don’t think those spent forces will work. It’s a coalition of losers,” Ruhanya added.
MDC lost to Zanu PF in Mwenezi over the weekend with the ruling party’s Samuel Kwinika getting 1 811 votes in the Ward 15 elections while the opposition candidate Shepherd Dzuda had 27 votes.
However, in Kuwadzana, Adnonia Shoko of MDC won the by-election with 1 517 votes against Zanu PF candidate Lloyd Makuwe’s 718.
MDC secretary for elections, Jacob Mafume yesterday said ZANU PF uses food to manipulate voters in rural areas.
“This tells you that it is not possible to have a proper election even in Harare. People were called to come and collect rice on the day of voting, Zanu PF was drilling a borehole a few metres from the polling station. These are not elections. It is manipulation of people’s poverty. Weaponising poverty and food and it is the biggest challenge that we have,” Mafume said. Nehanda Radio