Matutu Disqualification Raises Major Storm In MDC Congresses.
17 April 2019
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Tongai Matutu

Correspondent|THE ongoing provincial congress in the MDC has torched another storm after former legislator, Tongai Matutu, was disqualified ostensibly because he had not yet reached the five-year threshold before he rejoined the opposition party.

Matutu a former MDC-T member left the party with Tendai Biti to be a member of the now defunct People’s Democratic Party which was integrated into the MDC under the leadership of Nelson Chamisa.

There were chaotic scenes in Masvingo as party supporters protested over the disqualification of Matutu who was the front runner for the provincial chairperson post after the organising department barred him on the pretext that he was still to reach five years since he returned to the party.

Party supporters alleged an uneven playing field, arguing that the same template had not been applied on people like Biti, Professor Welshman Ncube and a host of others who barely had one year since they rejoined the party.

Matutu was set to contest against James Gumbi for the post of provincial chairperson.

“Mr Matutu clearly had the upper hand over his rival Mr Gumbi,” said a source who attended the meeting.

“Several districts had nominated him and everything was going on well until the eleventh hour when the organising department intervened to disqualify him. We suspect that they had realised that he was headed for a victory.”

Others questioned why the organising department intervened ahead of the ZCTU which was charged with running the congress.

“That is our worry,” said another source. “Who is really in charge? Is it the ZCTU or the organising department?

When contacted, party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said Matutu did not meet the template set out by the party. “He should have applied for a waiver, but unfortunately he did not exercise that right for one reason or the other,” he said.

“Those who applied for a waiver were granted, but he failed to do so.”