Strong anti-Ndebele sentiment in MDC-T

Strong anti-Ndebele sentiment in MDC-T
Published: 20 June 2018
MDC Alliance partners have blasted the coalition's leader Mr Nelson Chamisa as a deceptive politician who does not respect agreements after he dribbled them and fielded candidates in constituencies reserved for the allies. Further, the alliance partners concluded that Mr Chamisa's actions vindicated assertions that there was a strong and pronounced anti-Ndebele sentiment in MDC-T, as most candidates from the Matabeleland region under Professor Welshman Ncube failed to file their nomination papers after being duped by Mr Chamisa's team.

In Matabeleland South, the MDC-T refused to sign nomination papers belonging to Prof Ncube's candidates and most alliance partners were not contesting in council elections. Proportional representation sitting MP Nomalanga Khumalo also suffered a similar fate. Mr Chamisa is also running court battles with Dr Thokozani Khupe, who also hails from Matabeleland following a nasty separation underwritten by deception and dishonesty.

The move by Mr Chamisa saw other alliance partners snubbing his campaign rallies in Binga and Victoria Falls last weekend. Notable absentees at the rallies in Binga, Hwange and Victoria Falls were Prof Ncube, Mr Tendai Biti of People's Democratic Party and Ms Lynette Karenyi, the MDC- T women's assembly chairperson who was elbowed out of the opposition party's primary elections in a violent manner.

An MDC Alliance partner who spoke to The Herald yesterday said the issue of alliance building was unnecessary.

"What has happened indicates that Chamisa has upheld the plan of his predecessor (Mr) Morgan Tsvangirai, which was to attract back the dissident element, but without conceding a single inch of the ground to them," said the alliance partner.

"It is an old rule of politics that you don't reward rebellion, lest you encourage it. It lowers Chamisa's trustworthiness as no one will want to cut deals with him in future for, as Welshman puts it, nothing was unexpected." MDC spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi had no kind words for Mr Chamisa, saying they realised that they were dealing with "chameleons and vultures".

"We have a history of surviving life threatening storms," he said.

"I can safely confirm the presence of bad apples in the bag. The MDC family is in pain, but we are all praying for an alliance victory. The grabbing of our seats is a disturbing development.

"We are dealing with chameleons and vultures. Our eyes are on the ball and everybody is full of life. We have a history of surviving life-threatening storms. We are widely consulting members of the party."

Another alliance partner said the arrangement was a marriage of convenience between two "dishonest sides".

"The only difference is that Chamisa's act has ripened fast and earlier," he said.

"In the case of smaller parties, the strategy was to buy time while enjoying the comfort of the then MDC-T wings in order to rebuild themselves from local council elections upwards. If you take a look, there is a preponderant presence of small parties at local government elections level, which is the basic building block.

"Unfortunately for them, they did not push hard enough to ensure that they wrestled or shared the signing powers which remained exclusively with the MDC Alliance and sure to its character, the alliance used it to devastating effect, forcing most of these stranded council aspirants to either drop out or run as independents."

Other alliance partners said they had various options to express their disgruntlement.

"We can use our independent candidates as chips to recover lost ground," said one partner.

"We can simply turn our back on the alliance and proceed as independents now that the nomination court has closed. "We can as well join other parties merely for propaganda purposes against Chamisa.

"The only way Chamisa can recover our support is if he makes a strong showing against Zanu-PF, itself a tall order, to then dangle sinecures of office post-elections.

"In the event of a hung result, again unlikely, Chamisa will then realise how badly he needed to carry the goodwill of us little parties."

Mr Chamisa's actions have already given Zanu-PF a head start by way of an uncontested parliamentary seat in Insiza North and several council wards.

Said an alliance partner: "The Insiza case is interesting. It makes nonsense of (Morgan) Komichi's claim that they dropped weak candidates from alliance partners to improve their chances.

"Who doesn't know that Dumiso Dabengwa is moribund politically, in fact, more dead than Welshman Ncube to give Zanu-PF any real contest in Insiza North. It is about punishing rebels in order to thwart future rebellions which look all the more likely."

Mr Chamisa's camp said it would support a ZAPU candidate in Insiza North. The camp is also contesting Prof Ncube's candidates in two Mazowe constituencies. Another alliance partner, Transform Zimbabwe, which was allocated 12 seats, will battle it out with MDC-T candidates in six of its constituencies.

Zanu-Ndonga was allocated one seat in Chipinge under the alliance, but using its big brother mentality, MDC-T grabbed the seat. This effectively means that the party is in the alliance only for the sake of it. MDC-T initially was allocated 114 seats under the alliance agreement, but by last Thursday, it had breached the 150 threshhold.

The party grabbed 14 seats from Prof Ncube's MDC and allocated two to Mr Biti's PDP seats, before robbing PDP of the other seat.
- the herald
Tags: Ndebele,


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