MDC-A supporters not happy with election process
Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Correspondent
THE opposition MDC Alliance has elected new leaders during a chaotic national congress in Gweru that has left party members disgruntled.
The voting process, which started on Sunday afternoon at Ascot Stadium, ran through the night and many party supporters claim it was a strategy by the top brass to rig the elections.
Mr Nelson Chamisa remains the party’s president after he ran uncontested while Professor Welshman Ncube, Mr Tendai Biti and Ms Lynette Kore were voted the three vice presidents. Mr David Coltart is the new Treasurer General while Ms Thabitha Khumalo was voted the party’s Chairperson. She will be deputised by Mr Job Sikhala.
Mr Charlton Hwende clinched the Secretary General post after beating Mr Douglas Mwonzora and Mr Daniel Molokela in a tightly contested race.
Ms Paurina Mpariwa was voted the National Chairperson for the National Women’s Assembly and she will be deputised by Ms Philis Ndlovu. Ms Vimbai Tsvangirai, the daughter of the late MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, was voted Women’s Assembly Secretary and Ms Regnant Mangava is the new vice Secretary.
In the Youth Assembly, Mr Obey Sithole was voted the Chairperson and Ms Cecilia Chimbiri the vice Chairperson. Mr Gift Siziba is the new Secretary General and Ms Babra Nyagomo is his deputy. Ms Vimbai Mavherudze is the Treasurer General.
Some party members who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing victimisation expressed dissatisfaction over the handling of the party`s national executive elections, saying there were unnecessary delays which could have been avoided. They said the process was marred by irregularities.
“We are not happy at all about how the process was conducted. Organisers could have done better. The voting process started very late and people had to vote throughout the night which is not fair considering that there was poor lighting as there was no electricity. They had to resort to using generators and torches but that could have been avoided, if the process had started on time,” one member said.
Another delegate said the party leadership should avoid such irregularities in the future.
“We strongly appeal to our party to avoid such inconsistencies in the future because we are not happy about the whole process. It is the mandate of the party to make sure that we are happy as supporters and that our suggestions are taken seriously.”
Addressing party members at the congress, Mr Chamisa threatened to unleash violence, although he never specified the kind of violence.
The Government quickly responded by warning the MDC that it will not hesitate to take necessary measures to ensure peace and order prevails in the country.