VIOLENCE rocked the MDC Chiredzi district congress on Sunday, leading to its postponement for the third time to June 2, 2019 after the oppostion party’s national organiser Amos Chibaya was reportedly struck with a phone by Febbie Zisengwe, one of the outgoing district portfolio committee members. Zisengwe was immediately suspended from the party.
Contacted for comment, Chibaya tried to play down the incident.
“I don’t think she wanted to strike me with the phone. She did it by accident. It was not her intention. I was just threatening (to suspend) her. We cannot be seen throwing people out of the party every time they make a mistake,” he said.
The congress took place soon after the “thank you rally” addressed by party leader Nelson Chamisa at Tshovani Stadium.
Chibaya called off the elections held at the Town House around 8pm before wards 5 and 8 could elect their executive teams. This was after disgruntled members threw stones under the cover of darkness. The situation turned violent after members felt the elections were not being handled fairly.
Addressing members after tempers had cooled down, Chibaya said Chiredzi West would not attend the party congress slated for May 24 to 26 in Gweru.
“Chiredzi West main wing and youth league are not going to attend the forthcoming national congress. I am coming here after congress on June 2, 2019 to conduct the elections.
“So far, only the chairperson for the women’s wing is going to vote during the Gweru congress because the women managed to complete their elections. This is the first time I have conducted elections at ward and district levels as a national organiser. I am pleading with you to remain united as a family,” he said.
The congress, which was meant to elect the district leadership, failed to take place because the wards in attendance failed to constitute a quorum. Only 10 out of 13 wards showed up after bungling by the district party leadership in announcing the date for the event.
Chiredzi West has long presented a problem for the MDC. In 2018, more than 10 party members contested as independent candidates in the July 30 harmonised elections in both the parliamentary and local government elections.