Divisions have continued to rock the opposition MDC Alliance (MDC-A) amid accusations that the Ian Makone-led national elections directorate is violating laid-down procedures in the holding of the party’s primary elections.
Some MDC-A officials have accused the elections directorate of approving unqualified candidates to contest the Highfield West primary election held last Sunday and have demanded the nullification of the results.
The women’s assembly secretary Kudzai Chitembwe wrote to Makone, challenging the candidatures of Maxwell Dutuma and Munyaradzi Munderi in the ward 26 primary election saying they did not meet the conditions set out in the party constitution and primary elections template. She wrote:
We note with grave concern the shortlisting of … Dutuma and … Munderi as candidates in the Ward 26 primary elections in violation of the party constitution and the primary elections templates as the two aspiring candidates do not meet the condition that requires a party candidate to have been a member of the party for at least five years.
… we are therefore requesting the national elections directorate to review and rescind its decision to allow … Dutuma and … Munderi to participate in the forthcoming primary elections in Ward 26 as this is in violation of the party constitution and primary elections template.
Makone disregarded the petition and went ahead with the elections on Sunday which were won by Dutuma. This raised the ire of other candidates, including the MDC Alliance Harare provincial women’s assembly chairperson, Moud Chinyerere. Following the election, Chinyerere wrote to Makone:
I was both shocked and disappointed to learn that the national elections directorate conducted primary elections for Highfield West Ward 26 on Sunday 18 October at a time when the Harare province elections directorate had notified me through a written notice that the primary elections had been postponed to Sunday 25 October 2020.
This comes after MDC Alliance partners accused Nelson Chamisa and his close allies of ignoring the 2018 coalition agreement by allowing members from their group to take part in designated vacant seats, including the Kuwadzana constituency in Harare.