CSOs Say Khupe Chamisa Fights Gave Away Matabeleland Seats
2 August 2018
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CIVIC society groups based in Matabeleland have blamed the two warring MDC-T factions, led by Nelson Chamisa (left) and Thokozani Khupe (right), for selling out their parliamentary seats to the ruling Zanu PF party by failing to resolve their differences ahead of Monday’s general elections.

Both sides fielded candidates in the polls and lost Bulawayo South and Nkayi South constituencies to Zanu PF’s Raj Mod and Stars Mathe, respectively.

In Mashonaland East, Goromonzi West constituency was won by Zanu PF’s Energy Mutodi after MDC Alliance again fielded two candidates, Luke Tamborinyoka and Clifford Nhamburo .

Zanu PF won the majority of seats in the rural constituencies with the MDC Alliance grabbing most urban seats.

In Bulawayo South, MDC Alliance had two candidates Kunashe Muchemwa and Francis Mangwendeza.

Bulawayo, which has always been the stronghold of the MDC-T and the MDC Alliance grabbed 11 seats.

Ibhetshu likaZulu secretary general Mbuso Fuzwayo said it was sad that selfish opposition leadership donated Matabeleland seats to Zanu PF.

“Kunashe and Mangwendeza owe the people of Bulawayo an apology and their leaders who deployed them,” Fuzwayo said.

Shalom Trust Project Trust director Anglistone Sibanda said MDC Alliance had no strategy or infrastructure.

“Zanu PF was extremely tactical in fielding individuals with capacity, who have been in touch with the people while the alliance was fielding job seekers. So people in communities voted for those individuals not necessary for Zanu PF.

“It is an indictment for the MDC and it is a result of their intraparty wars where they split votes in the case of Nkayi South, while people like Edgar Moyo of Matobo North are known by the locals as progressive and development-minded and the people are optimistic looking forward, which shows that Zanu PF is reforming itself,” Sibanda said.

Rural Communities Empowerment Trust (Rucet) Lupane co-ordinator Vumani Ndlovu said in Bulawayo Zanu PF won the Bulawayo South because they had a candidate that the electorate viewed as better in terms of championing community development.

“Modi has a history of giving back to the community through initiating community projects. The outcome also indicates that there is a gradual shift of voting based on a political party, but on the basis of the capacity of an individual candidate to deliver. People voted for Modi as an individual not as Zanu PF. In constituencies like Nkayi, Lupane, Tsholotsho, Zanu PF has always been a beneficiary of split votes. If you combine the opposition votes they are more than that of Zanu PF candidates who won. In Nkayi South, for example the seat has always been held by the opposition because Bhebhe has always had overwhelming support despite the fact that the opposition was fragmented, but this time the seat went to Zanu PF,” Ndlovu said.

Zanu PF national youth deputy secretary Mabutho Moyo said President Emmerson Mnangagwa made a lot of sense to a lot of people.

“The amount of time that he had from November last year to now has not been enough for him to convince people, even more people in areas like Bulawayo and Harare, but when you look at the margins in which the MDC Alliance won in Harare and Bulawayo in Bulawayo, those margins have shrunk, a sign of Zanu PF’s growth as a bit of confidence to ED’s economic template of Zimbabwe is open for business,” Moyo said.

He said in Nkayi and Lupane and other parts of Matabeleland, programmes like command livestock won the hearts of the electorate. He said given time, Mnangagwa could have swept the urban vote. But #This Constitution leader Abigail Mupambi blamed the opposition’s poor showing on Zanu PF-Zec’s alleged conflation.

“I want to believe that the long standing relationship between Zec and Zanu PF has once again worked successfully for Zanu PF and of course negatively for the people of Zimbabwe and MDC Alliance at this point. This explains why Zec has been so secretive about the key issues,” she said.