MDC Sets Up Commission To Probe Provincial Disputed Congress Elections

Masvingo,- The Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) has engaged an independent Commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of Irregularities at its last year’s provincial congress elections that left the party split into two warring factions.

The party’s provincial congress that saw the retaining of the executive led by the current chairman, Wilstaff Stemere was disputed by a faction that alleged irregularities and rigging leading to the appointment of a four man independent commission. The commission is led by the labour body Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Secretary General, Japhet Moyo who descended on the party’s provincial headquarters last Friday.

The Moyo commission interrogated the two warring factions at the party’s office here and is set to submit its findings to the party national executive soon.

A senior party official from one of the faction led by Masvingo west legislator, Tachiona Mharadza, who declined to be named, said the MDC was still heavily fractious. He said the team asked to investigate asked them what happened during the elections and indicated that if irregularities were found the elections could be re-run.

“We were summoned to appear before a commission of inquiry led by Moyo from ZCTU. They were investigating the disputed lections which saw the return of the Stemere led provincial executive. We highlighted some of the irregularities that characterised the elections. They were some scenes of violence at the elections as well as people who were bussed and were not eligible to vote. All this has been highlighted to the commission and we are waiting for the results,” he said.

The Mharadza faction backed by Chivi north prominent business man and losing candidate for MDC in the 2008 elections, Bernard Chiondegwa who lost to Stemere, disputed the elections and wrote to the national executive demanding for the nullification of the result.

The dispute nearly put the party’s national congress held last year into chaos and forced party president Tsvangirai to descend to the ancient city in a huff to address the issue.

Tsvangirai read a riot act and ordered unity in the party before promising to deal with the dispute after the national congress while Stemere’ executive would continue to lead the party.

MDC provincial Spokes person, Harrison Mudzuri confirmed the development, dismissing possibility of a congress re-run.

“Yes I can assure you that there was a commission that came here to investigate the allegations of election irregularities during our last provincial congress,” said Mudzuri. “They were on a fact finding mission and both sides were interviewed to give their side of the story. But it’s not true what other guys are saying pertaining the case of re-doing the congress. There is nothing like that as the commission failed to get evidence of irregularities and violence as purported by the disgruntled guys. The results of the commission will be out soon but I can assure you that the current executive is clean and will continue tom lead the province.”

The congress saw the retaining of Stemere as the provincial chairman, while Masvingo urban law maker, Tongai Matutu returned his position of the provincial secretary unopposed, Mudzuri, Zaka Central MP, was elected provincial spokesperson, Masvingo city mayor Alderman Femias Chakabuda, was elected provincial treasurer, with Oliver Chirume landing the provincial youth chairperson and Judith Muzhazhi getting the women’s’ assembly provincial chairperson.

The other members of the commission included, Zimrights deputy chairperson, Pelagia Razemba, prominent human rights lawyer, Trust Mahanda and Jonah Hokova of the Christian Alliance of Zimbabwe.