FIERCE clashes have broken out between MDC Alliance’s Shurugwi South parliamentary candidate Oshed Mtunami and his MDC-T counterpart Daniel Mabonga, who is contesting as an independent.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Mtunami, who is a member of the MDC (Weshman Ncube) won the ticket to represent Shurugwi South ahead of Mabonga who claims that he had been campaigning for the seat four years ago, while Mtunami was resident in neighbouring South Africa.
The two will contest against Tapiwanashe Matangaidze (independent), Edmond Mkaratigwa (Zanu PF), and Patience Phiri of Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity (ZPP).
“Mabonga was hurt that I was ultimately chosen to represent the MDC Alliance, leaving him to stand as an independent candidate to the extent that now he is using unsavoury tactics to ensure that he divides the votes,” Mtunami told NewsDay yesterday.
“He has printed his campaign stickers using the MDC Alliance logo, and has been going around the constituency lying to people that he will be representing the MDC Alliance,” he said.
Mtunami further alleged that Mabonga was desperate that he used his relatives to masquerade as chiefs from Shurugwi in an effort to mislead MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa that chiefs in the area did not want him (Mtunami) to represent them.
Mtunami said Mabonga’s behaviour will confuse Shurugwi voters, particularly the elderly.
But Mabonga dismissed the allegations, saying he had the right to represent the constituency as he had invested a lot in the campaign while Mtunami was in South Africa.
“I have been campaigning for the past four years while Mtunami was in South Africa, and in Shurugwi there are not even 10 people from the MDC affiliated to Ncube. The MDC provincial leaders even said they did not know him. Mtunami is a fraudster and does not belong to the MDC-T or MDC,” Mabonga said.
Mabonga said he spent thousands of dollars buying campaign material for MDC-T and could not throw away the stuff.
“I am standing as an independent, but I am vigorously campaigning for Chamisa as president. The MDC-T uses my offices in Shurugwi and people here are saying they do not even know Mtunami. When he [Mtunami] was fraudulently endorsed as an MDC Alliance candidate I decided to run as an independent because I set up the MDC structures in Shurugwi and people here know me,” Mabonga said.