The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance in Chiredzi West has fired members who stood as independent candidates in the July 30 polls and hundreds others who rallied behind the rebellious candidates.
Masvingo spokesperson Dusty Zivhave yesterday said firing rebellious members would aid in instilling discipline in the party, adding all independent candidates, their agents as well as their supporters had also been shown the door.
“It’s a process. Those who took part in the election as independent candidates and those who openly supported them, for example, their agents, automatically fired themselves. Wards will also identify those in leadership positions who supported independent candidates,” he said.
“At the moment, those who can be identified backed by undisputed evidence according to the constitution, automatically expelled themselves from the party. They can, however, appeal as individuals. The causes for one to stand as an independent are many and may differ, but that is mitigatory. They will highlight that in their appeals.”
He said they needed a “disciplined party” as they prepared for the 2023 elections.
“In 2013, we had one person who stood as an independent candidate for House of Assembly and one who stood as an independent councillor, but during the recent election, the number increased drastically, both locally and nationally. It’s a bad habit, therefore, there is need to inculcate discipline in the party,” Zivhave said.
Simbarashe Baloyi, one of the candidates who stood as an independent in Chiredzi West, dismissed the announcement as hogwash.
“My independent candidature was above board because it was people-driven, that’s why you see everyone in Chiredzi West is behind us, some covertly and others overtly. However, having been the organising secretary of the party for the past two terms, I personally think it’s high time the party has genuine leaders who are ready to defend the grassroots, not stooges of the elite, who represent themselves and high sounding not provincial masters,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be worried if I am sacrificed for standing with the people. I am rather impressed that since 2011, I have been able to live true to the people’s expectations.”
John Manganye, popularly known by his supporters as “UK”, who also stood as an independent candidate in Chiredzi West, rubbished his dismissal from the party as “unfortunate talk and wishful thinking”, adding that he was still in the party structures and was yet to receive any such communication.
“Whoever is firing has our contact details. I think it’s time to sit down as a party and reflect and learn from 2018 elections than waste our energy on nothing. If we refuse to learn from our 2018 experience, we are likely to repeat the same mistakes in 2023, rigging primaries, vote-buying, candidate impositions, among others. This definitely is destroying the party.
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