Embattled former MDC-Alliance members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors, who were recalled by the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T, are resisting their party’s directive that they must all be subjected to primary elections in preparation for the much-anticipated by-elections.
An earlier decision had been made that the recalled MPs and councillors would automatically represent the party without going through primary elections.
But, MDC-Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, is said to have overturned that resolution, meaning the recalled MPs and councillors would now battle it out in the party’s primaries.
They are, however, resisting the move and are said to be fighting back.
It is understood that the disgruntled former MPs and councillors expressed disquiet over the matter and sent out the party’s organising secretary, Amos Chibaya, to present their case at the last national council meeting, which Chibaya did.
Well-paced sources at MDC-Alliance told Business Times this week that Chamisa told them off, saying he stood by the resolution that the recalled MPs and councillors should be subjected to primary elections.
“(Amos) Chibaya spoke on behalf of the recalled MPs and Councillors) raising their objections on the party’s directive in the national council meeting.
But, that was shot down by President Chamisa, who said some of them were no longer popular and there was need for them to go through the primary elections,” one source told Business Times.
Over 32 MPs and 165 councillors were recalled by Khupe for not supporting her and siding with Chamisa in the power struggle rocking the MDC formations.
Chamisa’s argument was that some of the MPs and Councillors were no longer popular with the electorate in their constituencies and wards as they were no longer serving the interest of the party and people hence were to be re-elected again.
This has, however, caused uproar in the party.
MDC-Alliance secretary general Charlton Hwende and one of the recalled MPs told Business Times: “The party led by our leader (Nelson Chamisa) has decided every party leader must be re-elected and voted in his constituency when we are going to be having elections.”
He added: “This includes all the recalled MPs and Councillors, and we support the decision as it is democracy.
“The party president has received reports of some party officials who are no longer working with the people in their constituencies and need to re- elected again.”
Chibaya confirmed that the recalled MPs and councillors were unhappy with the party’s decision to deny them the chance to go into the anticipated by-elections without being subjected to primary elections.
“We had agreed as a party that all the MPs and councillors who were recalled are not going for any primary elections in the party, but it has now changed as we all have to be re-elected again and I know many councillors and MPs who were recalled are not happy with the resolution, but it is standing and we have to abide by it,” Chibaya told Business Times.
By-elections, however, have been deferred as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.