Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
LOSING MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial executive aspirants have taken the party’s president Mr Nelson Chamisa head-on accusing him of manipulating processes at the provincial congress to achieve his desired outcome.
In a letter to the party’s national executive, 12 losing candidates blamed Mr Chamisa and organising secretary Mr Amos Chibaya for the chaotic congress.
The 12 losing candidates who include Mr Phelela Masuku, Mr Edious Shumba, Mr Charles Moyo, Mr Thamu Ncube, Ms Sinikiwe Mutanda, Ms Jasmine Toffa, Mr Dingilizwe Tshuma, Mr Edwin Ndlovu, Ms Stella Ndlovu, Mr Mbuso Siso and Mr Samuel Munsaka called for the nullification of the provincial congress results on the basis that it was rigged among other irregularities.
The party held a provincial congress on April 17 ahead of the national congress slated for next month.
Makokoba Member of Parliament Mr James Sithole won the provincial chairman’s post.
In the letter of appeal, the losing candidates argue that the interference by Mr Chamisa and Mr Chibaya benefitted Mr Sithole’s camp.
“The directive given by the president Nelson Chamisa to National Organising secretary Chibaya, on being petitioned at the congress venue by disenfranchised delegates who were refused to participate, was only acceded to after the conclusion of both the youth and women processes effectively denying them the vote and creating complexities for main wing processes by introduction of non-eligible delegates.
“Mpopoma was effectively locked out of participation, and the caucus constituted by Chibaya to address the anomaly calculatedly and mischievously took forever resultantly acceding at the close of the voting process. The cabal of James Sithole and Helen Zviviri (Tsepiso-Mpofu) formed the think tank of the caucus,” reads part of the appeal letter.
They further argued that the provincial congress was illegal as it did not adhere to the party processes, conduct and procedures.
“Take notice that the undersigned Appellants hereby note an appeal on the process and conduct of the procedures employed at the Bulawayo Provincial Congress held at Stanley Square Makokoba, Bulawayo on 17/18th April 2019 pursuant to the provisions of Sections 9 (a); 9 (c (i; v and vi) section 2 (ii; iii; iv; v; and vi) and section 3 (a) and (f) And further take notice that the Appellants’ grounds of appeal are that:- 1. That the congress was not legally constituted for failure of a quorum notwithstanding the districts that were disenfranchised and refused to participate,” reads the letter.
Mr Chamisa was last week sucked into a tribal storm at the party’s Bulawayo structures who accused the opposition leader of presiding over a provincial congress marred with irregularities and ethnic bias.
In the “chaotic” Bulawayo congress, party vice president Professor Welshman Ncube was snubbed by the province which did not nominate him to retain the post at the national congress slated for next month.
Instead, the structures nominated Mr Tendai Biti, Mr Morgen Komichi and Ms Lillian Timveous for the vice presidency and nominated Prof Ncube for the secretary general’s position.
The disgruntled party members said Mr Chamisa showed bias as he presided over the elections of the youth, women’s and main provincial wings.
“For example, in the youth structures where more than 800 youths were supposed to participate, only about 150 were allowed to vote. No one can win when the electoral college is 150 as that number can only account for two party districts. By presiding over such a sham process, Chamisa oversaw the breach of the party constitution in favour of what has been viewed as a tribal agenda,” said an insider.
Bouncers belonging to Mr Chamisa are said to have been hired to block people from voting and many feel results were predetermined.
MDC-Alliance national spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume was not available for comment.