Thursday, September 12, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) We 'rigged' our own defeat: MDC-T mayor
22/08/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

OUTGOING MDC-T mayor for Marondera, Farai Nyandoro, has said the party authored its own defeat in the July 31 elections, blaming rampant factionalism, imposition of candidates and “bootlicking” of the leadership by top officials.

The MDC-T suffered a landslide defeat in the legislative and local elections while party leader Morgan Tsvangirai managed just 34 percent of the presidential vote against 61 percent for Zanu PF’s Robert Mugabe.

The results were a stunning reverse on the outcome of the violent but disputed 2008 ballot when the MDC-T leader edged Mugabe in the first round of the presidential vote before pulling out of the run-off poll, accusing the Zanu PF leader of brutalising his supporters.

Tsvangirai has refused to accept he lost the July 31 elections and claims Zanu PF engineered a monumental farce which they passed off as an election.

The MDC-T allegations of vote fraud and extensive other irregularities were dismissed by the Constitutional Court which ruled the vote “free, fair and credible”.

Nyandoro however offered a different take on the reasons for the party’s election rout in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com on Wednesday.

“We went the election a divided lot in Mashonaland East Province. The leadership was aware of what I am saying; imposition of candidates cost the party, and it is a fact,” he said.

“For instance here in Marondera, in Ward 8 we had councillor Mudzvongo fighting one Dzvuke in the primaries. But a team from Harvest House (MDC-T head office) came and said they had an order that someone else not the two candidates was going to represent the party.

“This then killed the vote. People did not go to vote because they were angry with imposition of candidates. There was massive voter apathy in protest of imposition of candidates.”

He continued: “I can confidently say without fear or favour, that in Mbare there is a senior party member by the name Munyanyi who has been beaten and assaulted since the formation of the party in the area.

“But what happens before the elections? There comes a person called Eric Knight from the ceiling to represent the party. So, obviously there will be voter apathy; your people do not come out to vote and the other party takes advantage of that. That is exactly what happened in our province. People did not vote.

“Our party used to belong to the poor, it used to belong to students and workers but of late we saw the party being hijacked by the elites, those who have money, and this did not go down well with the electorate.”

Nyandoro was himself suspended from the party in in 2011 on allegations of corruption and inconsistency after being accused of “winning and dining” with the Zanu PF's former Mashonaland East Governor Aeneas Chigwedere.

The party’s organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, however intervened and overruled the suspension order saying it was “not valid because party rules were not followed”.

Meawhile, the outgoing mayor also said Tsvangirai was being ill advised by “bootlickers” among his inner circle.

“We hear that Tsvangirai is moving around in all the provinces, but if he is to get the reality on the ground he should desist from only meeting with the provincial party executives,” said the outgoing mayor.

“He should meet the electorate in Mbuya-Nehanda Hall or Rudhaka stadium if he is to rebuild the party; in the locations - that is where the people are, not getting information from the few who are surrounding him – the bootlickers.”

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