Zimbabwe-THE CONTROVERSY surrounding candidate selection in the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T deepened yesterday amid reports that some disgruntled party members in Bulawayo had distributed flyers demanding that the party holds primary elections for all parliamentary seats.
The flyers, neatly printed in Ndebele on an A6 size paper with the party logo, were allegedly dumped in most parts of the central business district by suspected disgruntled party members.
The flyers read: “We don’t want anyone choosing leaders for us, Tsvangirai stop forcing us to accept the leaders chosen by you that we don’t want. We want primary elections, that’s all.”
MDC-T Bulawayo spokesperson Mandla Sibanda confirmed seeing the flyers, but dismissed claims that they could have been originated by disgruntled party members.
“I have seen the flyers and I wouldn’t want to lie about their origin,” he said. “What I can say is that they are not like our party because, as a party, our leadership has gone throughout the country to explain how we will handle this issue (candidate selection).
“The president has been leading the delegation that went around the country, and he has been clear on how we will handle the issue of candidates.
“For someone to then claim that they are from our party and write something like that . . . that is why I am saying it’s not like the MDC-T.”
The MDC-T leadership courted controversy with its followers after it resolved to spare seats held by “popular” sitting Members of Parliament from being contested. However, MDC-T “Young Turks” have challenged the arrangement arguing it was undemocratic and meant to protect Tsvangirai’s henchmen.
According to the MDC-T, a sitting legislator requires a two-thirds confirmation from party members in his constituency to avoid a primary election.
In Bulawayo, MDC-T national chairperson Lovemore Moyo’s personal assistant Artwell Sibanda has indicated that he wants to challenge sitting Pumula MP Albert Mhlanga in the party’s primary elections set for this month – Newsday.