Nyore Madzianike Manicaland Bureau
MASSIVE defections have rocked MDC-T in Mutare Central constituency, with reports that sitting Member of Parliament Mr Innocent Gonese has since approached the provincial executive to help him contain the exodus.
Mr Gonese, who is also vying for the seat under the MDC Alliance ticket, is said to have stirred a hornet’s nest after he allegedly blocked primary elections in the constituency.
His actions baffled his followers who are reportedly joining other parties with the bulk of them defecting to Zanu-PF.
“All is not well with Gonese, as he has lost a number of followers over the past weeks,” said a source.
Mr Gonese also stands accused of causing divisions within his constituency, which have precipitated massive defections to rival parties.
It is said Mr Gonese has since roped in the services of former Buhera South MP Tangwara Matimba to help him “sort things out” in his constituency.
“All is not well as we speak. Most of his followers have since left him to join other parties out of disgruntlement. These disgruntlements mostly emanated from the way primary elections were held. They were not done according to people’s expectations. In other words, Gonese was imposed in Mutare Central,” said the source who requested anonymity.
Mr Gonese was not reachable for comment as his phone went unanswered.
MDC Manicaland provincial spokesperson Mr Trevor Saruwaka acknowledged there were divisions in Mutare Central, stemming from the primary elections.
He, however, said he was not aware of the massive defections.
“I know there were divisions during the primary elections but I am not aware of the defections so far. I was with Tangwara Matimba last Saturday but I never picked up anything about him being roped in to help out Gonese. I will have to find out and come back to you,” he said.
Mr Gonese will be facing Zanu-PF aspiring candidate Dr Nancy Saungweme who has since voiced her optimism in winning the seat.
Dr Saungweme has done a number of projects in Mutare Central, which are aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of the constituents.
On Saturday, Dr Saungweme donated computers to Zamba Primary School in Sakubva where she called on the electorate to vote for leaders with people at heart.
She also called for people to vote for leaders who bring development saying urban renewal would be her first initiative once voted into office in the July 30 elections.