Mutsekwa, Tsunga clash for same seat

MUTARE – A turf war between Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Giles Mutsekwa and top human rights lawyer, Arnold Tsunga for Dangamvura-Chikanga Constituency in Mutare is only going to be settled at the July 31 poll, Tsunga has said.

The two remain MDC official candidates in spite of claims by MDC spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora recently that the issue had been resolved.

Mwonzora said Tsunga agreed to allow Mutsekwa to stand as the sole candidate as he has been promised another top position in the party.

Tsunga said: “The proposal was made but subject to the leadership convincing the electorate. Unfortunately that agreement was not secured so to my understanding nothing has changed.”

The constituency now has seven candidates as Zanu PF’s Milcah Duru, MDC’s Jona Msonza, Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile’s Fugamai Mawiure and Independent candidates, Kuziwa Maundike and Didmus Machiri.

Tsunga said rectification of nomination irregularities has to be done within seven days and emphasised that  it was now legally impossible to do so.

Tsunga was however, optimistic that whatever challenges in his party was facing, they would win the seat and said it was not strategic for one of them to withdraw now.

“If one of us pulls out, then there is likely going to be apathy. The electorate are going for their candidates with passion. Putting two candidates will consolidate the presidential vote,” Tsunga said.

Tsunga said protecting the presidential vote was also the main reason he has remained in the race as the presidential vote was critical in his party’s “capture of state power.”

Mutsekwa has lost the confirmation exercise for the constituency throwing him into a primary election against the top human rights lawyer.

The selection of a single candidate was marred by a shambolic Electoral College voters’ roll which even saw Ward 7 failing to participate in the confirmation exercise due to discrepancies between names that came from Harvest House and those that were issued from the province.

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Zim One - 22 July 2013

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