MDC elections claim more casualties

HARARE - Former National Housing minister Fidelis Mhashu’s political career is hanging by a thread after he was condemned to primary elections as more heavyweights stumbled in the internal MDC elections held in Chitungwiza and Bulawayo yesterday.

Mhashu, Chitungwiza North legislator, was among the high-profile MDC senior politicians who failed to avoid facing off rivals in primary elections after failing to garner the vote required to be confirmed as the outright candidate.

Former mayor Misheck Shoko (Chitungwiza South), Collin Gwiyo (Zengeza West), Marvellous Khumalo(St Mary’s) and Edward Musumbu (Norton), will all have to undergo primary elections after they also failed to get confirmation.

The MDC introduced the confirmation process, a system which requires a sitting MP to get two thirds of the votes in his constituency, in a bid to avoid accusations of imposing candidates.

Khumalo, who was arraigned in the courts for allegedly blowing funds meant for constituency development, will need to overcome nine challengers in the primaries.

But there were no problems for Chitungwisa provincial chairperson Alexio Musundire (Zengeza East), Thomas Nyamayaro (Seke Rural) and Honest Manhando (Mhondoro Mubaira) who won in primary elections.

In Bulawayo Province, Samuel Sandla (Khumalo Mpopoma-Pelandaba) and MP Felix Magalela Mafa of Magwegwe Constituency failed to get the required two-thirds confirmation in yesterday’s polls.

Bulawayo provincial chairperson Gorden Moyo said: “Our elections were peaceful. After this exercise, we want to make sure that Bulawayo is Zanu PF free. We want to make sure that all MPs from Bulawayo come from the MDC.”

Moyo was unopposed in Makokoba following MDC vice president Thokozani Khupe’s departure from the constituency.

Minister of Water Resources Samuel Sipepa Nkomo was also confirmed in Lobengula as well as Tabitha Khumalo of Bulawayo East and Pumula’s Albert Mhlanga.

Former deputy minister of Youth Thamsanqa Mahlangu was confirmed in Nkulumane. On Saturday, heavyweights fell by the wayside in Harare’s confirmation exercise.

Science and Technology minister and Budiriro legislator Heneri Amos Murima Dzinotyiwei, and the local chairperson of African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption (Apnac) and Kambuzuma legislator Willias Madzimure suffered huge setbacks.

Highfield East MP Pearson Mungofa, his neighbour in Highfield West Constituency Simon Hove, Elias Jembere of Epworth Constituency, Glen Norah member of the House of Assembly Gift Dzirutwe and Sunningdale MP Margaret Matienga were also condemned to primary elections.

The MDC hopes to complete the confirmation exercises this weekend.

There will be visits to Matabeleland North and South, Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Central and the volatile Masvingo Province. - Mugove Tafirenyika and Pindai Dube

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