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Chamisa's supporters picket over imposition of candidates

by Staff reporter
06 Feb 2022 at 01:55hrs | Views
THE Nelson Chamisa-led Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is already embroiled in discord ahead of the upcoming by-elections with party supporters on Friday staging a demonstration in Bulawayo's Ward 26, accusing the party leadership of imposing candidates.

During the nomination court last month the party fielded double candidates in Ward 9 and 26, a move that exposed factional fights as all the candidates claimed they had been given the green light by their leadership to contest.

One of the candidates for Ward 9, Mr Bekithemba Nyathi later withdrew his candidature leaving the standoff only in Ward 26 which covers Emganwini high-density suburb. It is the Ward 26 impasse that has exposed the party's deep-rooted fights, with accusations of candidate imposition being peddled around by both the warring candidates- Alderman Norman Hlabani and Mr Mpumelelo Moyo.

Mr Moyo's supporters staged a mini-demonstration in the ward on Friday after the party's secretary-general, Mr Charlton Hwende purported that Mr Moyo had withdrawn his candidature in support of Ald Hlabani.

"After a fruitful and affable meeting with candidates, I would like to thank Mpumelelo Moyo for exercising maturity and for putting the citizens and the party first by withdrawing his candidacy for Ward 26. We now have one candidate, Norman Hlabani," wrote Mr Hwende on his Twitter account.

That, however, did not go down well with party supporters who reportedly besieged Mr Moyo's residence late on Thursday demanding to see him, but he was said to be in Harare. The following day, party supporters demonstrated outside his residence, reminding him that he was their preferred choice.

The party supporters claimed Ald Hlabani had failed twice to be confirmed as a candidate, initially getting a nod from just seven out of 59 members present, and finally being resoundingly rejected by 400 party members and leaders on his second attempt to stand as the CCC Ward 26 candidate in the forth-coming by-elections scheduled for 26 March.

Impeccable party sources, however, claimed the entire confusion had been caused by the party leader Mr Chamisa, as he had back tracked from an initial resolution to have all candidates that had been recalled to be the ones to represent the party in the by-elections.

"This is just an issue of imposition because when the party leadership initially agreed for all those recalled candidates be the ones allowed to contest the by-elections, their papers were sent to Harare to be signed by the electoral committee set by the party.

This then changed for Ward 26 when the vice-president, Professor Welshman Ncube told the president that he had got wind that party supporters did not want Ald Hlabani, which is how Moyo's name then came to the fray," said the source.

The sources further implicated the party's provincial youth chairperson, former Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Mr Tinashe Kambarami for allegedly intercepting some of the papers of the candidates in a bid to bar some members from participating in the by-elections.

"What has been discovered is that when the papers came from Harare, some of them had been signed while others had not been signed which is why Prof Ncube then went on to sign some of these papers as he is also one of the signatories," said the source.

Contacted for comment, Mr Kambarami said he had not intercepted the said papers but had only received them as a provincial chairperson. He further exposed the factional fights in the party, revealing that in all the papers he had received Mr Moyo's papers had not been part of the list that had been endorsed by the national leadership to contest in the ward.

"I received those papers as a provincial chairperson and I forwarded them to all the candidates, no one who was on that list failed to get their papers. Further ,I have to clarify that I am not a signatory, there were a set of people who could sign and all the papers I received had these signatures.

To put the record straight of all the papers I received there was no paper for one Mpumelelo Moyo, in fact Ald Hlabani was the party candidate for Ward 26. I was shocked that at the Nomination Court, his papers were now there, we do not know who signed them and for what reason," said Mr Kambarami.

He further claimed that Mr Moyo had never attended any party meeting and was unknown to the party. Contacted for comment, Ald Hlabani said he was not deterred by the internal fights claiming he was concentrating on his campaign.

"I heard about these demonstrations but I am not moved a bit. What surprises me is that Mr Moyo is going against what ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) advised us not to do, that is defacing another candidate's campaign material.

He is ever talking about me, instead of telling the people what he is offering. I am more senior than him and I know this political game," said a defiant Ald Hlabani.

Contacted for comment, Mr Moyo initially requested questions to be sent to his WhatsApp. He, however, did not respond and continuous efforts to reach him yielded no results until the time of going to press.

Source - The Sunday News

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