Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
MDC Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday ordered Alliance partners who successfully filed their nomination papers without his blessings to withdraw their candidature, further straining relations in the troubled coalition.
The development follows a decision by the MDC Chamisa faction to unilaterally field candidates in constituencies and wards reserved for Alliance partners, leading to double registration.
In some instances, the MDC Chamisa camp refused to sign nomination papers for some Alliance candidates, preferring instead to field their candidates while they reduced the number of candidates for other partners like the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube.
In an interview yesterday, MDC Chamisa national chairperson Mr Morgan Komichi said they will direct those candidates who filed without their blessings to withdraw, a development that has been described by other Alliance partners as “big-headed mentality”.
“We will talk to those individuals and their parties and ask them to withdraw,” he said.
“All those that fielded candidates without the blessing of the Alliance would be asked to withdraw. We hope that this would be resolved amicably.”
Mr Komichi accused some candidates of scanning signatures of official signatories for them to be able to be accepted at the Nomination Court.
He denied that they had unilaterally fielded candidates, saying they were guided by the desire to put a strong candidate in a given area.
“We are one,” he said.
“It was a matter of deploying a strong candidate. 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.”
Morale among partners in the MDC Alliance had been at rock bottom as they were accusing Mr Chamisa of undermining the coalition by unilaterally fielding candidates in areas earmarked for them.
In Harare South, for example, former legislator for the area Mr Shadreck Mashayamombe filed his nomination papers on an MDC Alliance ticket, while Tichaona Saurombe from Transform Zimbabwe was also duly nominated as a member of the Alliance in that area.
Other areas where there was double registration include Mazowe North and Bikita East where Transform Zimbabwe fielded candidates alongside representatives from Mr Chamisa’s camp.
There was also confusion in Mabvuku-Tafara constituency, where primary elections losing candidate Mr James Maridadi filed papers together with winner Mr James Chidhakwa on an MDC Alliance ticket.
The MDC Alliance fielded two candidates each in six constituencies namely Zaka West, Gutu North, Gutu West and Gutu Central, Bikita East and Masvingo South.
In Gutu West, Messrs Stanley Manguma and Knowledge Mupini both filed papers to represent the MDC Alliance, where they will square up against Cde John Paradza of Zanu-PF and Mr Tauya Chinama of People’s Rainbow Coalition.
The situation is the same in Gutu North, where Messrs Hamandishe Maramwidze and Juniel Manyere will both represent the MDC Alliance in a contest against Cde Yeukai Simbanegavi of Zanu-PF and Mr Jonah Wakurawarerwa of MDC-T.
Two MDC Alliance candidates, Messrs Crispa Musoni and Enerst Mandigo also square up against each other in Gutu Central where they will battle it out with Cde Winston Chitando of Zanu-PF, Mrs Shillah Bikoloni of Build Zimbabwe, Mr Pias Rungwaro of MDC-T and Mr Last Mafuratidze of People’s Rainbow Coalition.
The MDC Alliance will also have two candidates in Masvingo South after Messrs Lovemore Matongo and Justin Makota both filed papers to represent the party.
They will square up against Cde Claudios Maronge of Zanu-PF, Mr Knowledge Mabvuure of BZA, Mr Action Haruchenjerwi (Independent), Mr Lawrence Mavhaire (PRC), Mr Victor Vengeyi (Independent), and Mr Simon Senda (UDA).
In Bikita East, two MDC Alliance candidates Messrs Bonface Mudzingwa and Satiya Sengedzeni also filed their papers to represent the party, where they come up against Cde Johnson Madhuku of Zanu-PF and Mr Ernest Rambe of NCA.
The situation is the same in Zaka West where the two MDC Alliance candidates, Messrs Festus Dumbu and William Zivenge, both filed papers to contest in the constituency on the party ticket.