Tendai Mugabe / Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
THE MDC Alliance is mired in confusion after one of its co-principals and spokesperson Professor Welshman Ncube dismissed claims by MDC-T secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora that the coalition has been turned into a single political party.
Prof Ncube described anyone making such insinuations as being “nonsensical.”
Further, Prof Ncube said the alliance leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, does not have exclusive powers to direct candidates in the coalition to withdraw their candidature in cases where there were double registrations.
In an interview yesterday, Prof Ncube said the alliance remained a coalition of seven political parties and what they have only done was to amend its constitution to make it a corporate body that can sue or be sued in its own capacity.
Last week Mr Mwonzora told journalists at the Nomination Court that they had turned the alliance into a single political party and that its leader Mr Chamisa would have powers to recall its legislators from Parliament if need be.
Prof Ncube yesterday dismissed Mr Mwonzora saying: “I don’t know where you are getting that from. The alliance remains an amalgam of seven political parties. What we have only done was to amend the alliance constitution to make it a corporate body that can be sued or sue in its own name. We are just giving the coalition an identity of its own just like a company or any corporate organisation.
“In Zimbabwe political parties are not registered. Any registration only comes after elections if your party gets five percent of the votes for the purposes of accessing funds provided for by the Political Parties Finance Act. Anyone who is talking of registration before elections is just being nonsensical.”
Prof Ncube rapped the MDC Chamisa faction after it ordered partners who successfully filed their nomination papers without his blessings to withdraw their candidature.
He said the decision to withdraw candidates rested with individuals concerned or their political parties and not the Chamisa-led MDC camp.
“The discretion to withdraw is on the individual candidate,” he said.
“No one can direct a candidate to withdraw unless if it is done through a round table where people would be negotiating. The issue is now at the mercy of those respective candidates and their political parties to withdraw.”
He dismissed reasoning by the Chamisa-led faction that their agreement stipulated that parties would field candidates where they were stronger.
“That is the general guideline. But there is an appendix in the agreement where it is specific that a political party will field candidates in a particular constituency and that should have been respected,” said Prof Ncube.
“This was a specific clause as opposed to a general clause.”
Morale is at its lowest in the alliance as other fringe parties in the grouping accuse Mr Chamisa of undermining the coalition by unilaterally fielding candidates in areas earmarked for them, leading to double registration.
It is understood that in some instances the MDC Chamisa camp refused to sign nomination papers for other alliance candidates, preferring instead to field their candidates.
In yet another show of vindictiveness and complete disregard for the alliance agreement, the Chamisa camp reduced the number of candidates for other partners like that of Professor Ncube- led MDC.
In Harare South, for example, former legislator for the area Mr Shadreck Mashayamombe filed his nomination papers on an MDC Alliance ticket, while Tichaona Saurombe from Transform Zimbabwe was also duly nominated as a member of the Alliance for the same constictuency.
The alliance fielded two candidates each in six constituencies namely Zaka West, Gutu North, Gutu West and Gutu Central, Bikita East and Masvingo South.
In Gutu West, Messrs Stanley Manguma and Knowledge Mupini both filed papers to represent the MDC Alliance, where they will square up against Cde John Paradza of Zanu-PF and Mr Tauya Chinama of People’s Rainbow Coalition.
The situation is the same in Gutu North, where Messrs Hamandishe Maramwidze and Juniel Manyere will both represent the MDC Alliance in a contest against Cde Yeukai Simbanegavi of Zanu-PF and Mr Jonah Wakurawarerwa of MDC-T.
Two MDC Alliance candidates, Messrs Crispa Musoni and Ernest Mandigo also square up against each other in Gutu Central where they will battle it out with Cde Winston Chitando of Zanu-PF, Mrs Shillah Bikoloni of Build Zimbabwe, Mr Pias Rungwaro of MDC-T and Mr Last Mafuratidze of People’s Rainbow Coalition.
The MDC Alliance will also have two candidates in Masvingo South after Messrs Lovemore Matongo and Justin Makota both filed papers to represent the party.
They will square up against Cde Claudios Maronge of Zanu-PF, Mr Knowledge Mabvuure of BZA, Mr Action Haruchenjerwi (Independent), Mr Lawrence Mavhaire (PRC), Mr Victor Vengeyi (Independent), and Mr Simon Senda (UDA).
In Bikita East, two MDC Alliance candidates Messrs Boniface Mudzingwa and Satiya Sengedzeni also filed papers to represent the party, where they come up against Cde Johnson Madhuku of Zanu-PF and Mr Ernest Rambe of NCA.
The situation is the same in Zaka West where the two MDC Alliance candidates, Messrs Festus Dumbu and William Zivenge, both filed papers to contest in the constituency on the party ticket.