By Nkosana Dlamini
MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube has admitted to widening cracks within the anti-Zanu PF front after MDC-T officials allegedly froze out candidates seconded for nomination by coalition partners.
This follows the chaos that marred nomination last Thursday when Zanu PF was allowed to bag the Insiza North parliamentary seat and Wards 22, 23, and 24 Wards unopposed after the coalition bungled nomination process.
Ncube told NewZimbabwe.com weekend that the parliamentary seat was allocated to Agrippa Mutambara’s Zimbabwe People First party but it emerged some MDC-T officials had refused to sign the seconded candidate’s nomination papers insisting there was a “more suitable” candidate for the area.
The MDC-T officials who were supposed to sign the papers were chairperson Morgen Komichi, secretary for elections Murisi Zvizvai and party organising secretary Amos Chibaya.
It emerged that the preferred candidate had his papers rejected during nomination after they were found to be belonging to different wards.
The fragile nature of the MDC Alliance was further exposed after the MDC-T, which forms the backbone of the coalition, also proceeded to field its own candidates against earlier agreements not to contest council seats where a coalition partner had been occupying them.
This was the case with Matopo in which MDC-T fielded candidates in an area in which Ncube’s MDC held fort.
Zanu Ndonga had its one seat snatched by MDC-T while MCD had 3 of its 4 potential seats also unilaterally seized at the last minute.
Ncube admitted this has driven a wedge between the MDC-T and its coalition partners but said they had no choice but to camouflash the divisions in the interest of the multi-party alliance.
“I have personally spoken to each of them (affected parties) over the last three days and we are all agreed that we remain hundred percent committed to the alliance, that we will work for the alliance to succeed in this election even if things which should not have happened, happened,” said the former industry minister.
“There is therefore not doubt in my mind that the alliance is still intact, that notwithstanding the ill-treatment that some alliance partners have received, we still think it’s the only option that the people of Zimbabwe have and we will present that option to them,” he said.
MDC-T supporters have been at the forefront of demanding a reversal of the coalition arrangement adding that other coalition partners have not demonstrated any tangible grassroots support during campaigns for the elections.
The lead alliance partner was also defiant, with national chairman Komichi saying the nomination day changes were aimed at ensuring they fielded the strongest the strongest candidates.
“It was a matter of deploying a strong candidate,” he told state media.
“If we field a strong candidate it is to the benefit of the Alliance because we would stand to win in that constituency rather than field a weaker candidate.
“In any case, an agreement we had was that a party would field a candidate in areas where it had greater support.
“It is politically suicidal as an Alliance to field a candidate who is weak. People should focus on the broader objective of winning the election.”