MDC Bulawayo province in turmoil

MDC Bulawayo province in turmoil
Published: 30 April 2019
MDC cadres who lost the provincial elections about a fortnight ago are pushing for the nullification of the poll result, the Daily News can report. In a letter to the party's national executive, the losing candidates alleged the just-ended provincial congress was not legally constituted.

They accuse the presiding officers of disregarding the establishment of the existence of a quorum prior to the commencement of the process in Makokoba on April 16 and 17. "Section 9 (a) of the Movement for Democratic Change 2019 Congress Template stipulates a two thirds of all eligible delegates as a quorum to constitute the holding of a congress," reads part of the letter.

It is also being claimed that not enough notice was given to allow working delegates to participate. The notice went out on April 16 ahead of the elections on April 17 and 18.

"…one ought to be excused for concluding that the provincial organ…manipulated and delayed the dissemination of information, creating a competitive advantage for themselves given that they cancelled their campaign meeting of April 16, 2019 pencilled for Sizinda Hall long before the posting of a notice calling for the congress," the letter continued.

The appellants also said the entire vote process, from ballot allocation, voting, ballot casting, counting and computation of votes cast lacked transparency and failed to meet a single thread of secrecy as dictated by the MDC constitution.

They said results for the main wing suggest vote stuffing and rigging as no cases of spoilt ballots were recorded and/or announced.

"Voters entered the voting arena in a single file and were issued with ten ballots papers each, one, per every portfolio.

"This means that an equal number of ballots were issued for each portfolio and having registered zero spoilt ballots, effectively means the total number of ballots cast ought to be equal for every portfolio.

"In reality and as evidenced by the announced results there were no particular patterns observed.

The disparity between the lowest and highest ballot cast in aggregate, per portfolio is 202 thus strongly giving credence to the assertion of ballot stuffing, double voting and or those non-accredited and not removed in the arena casting their votes, effectively rendering the election not credible," they argued.

They also said the voting process lacked secrecy as voters voted by show of hands in all branches, wards and districts.

Consequently, the disgruntled members are demanding the nullification of the poll outcome and a fresh congress to be instituted.

MDC president Nelson Chamisa has appointed an ad hoc committee to look into the grievances before the national congress set for May 24 to 26 in Gweru.

Contacted for comment, MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume could neither confirm nor deny that the national executive had received the appeal. "If they have appealed, we cannot comment on the matter before the national executive deals with the matter as doing so will be subjudice," Mafume said.

Twelve losing candidates, most of whom are Members of Parliament, signed the letter.

They include Phelela Masuku, Edious Shumba, Charles Moyo, Percy Tapela, Thamu Ncube, Sinikiwe Mutanda, Jasmine Toffa, Dingilizwe Tshuma, Edwin Ndlovu, Stella Ndlovu, Mbuso Siso and Samuel Munsaka.

The poll has produced a lot of drama. There have been murmurs of discontent among some party members who claimed the elections were rigged in favour of non-Ndebele speaking members who now make up the inordinately huge number of the provincial executive.

Mafume watered down the tribal rift last week, saying the province was united.
- dailynews
Tags: MDC,


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