Vanguard, Chamisa faceoff after candidate imposition

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Garikai Fadzi

HARARE – MDC-T’s youth militia commonly referred to as the Vanguard are fighting the imposition of their leader, Nelson Chamisa’s closest ally Charlton Hwande as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Kuwadzana constituency.

National deputy youth leader and self-styled commander of the party’s militia – order of the Vanguard, Shakespeare Mukoyi, who was also eyeing the seat, continues to put up a spirited fight that includes pockets of violence in the constituency with his camp accusing Hwende’s camp of bussing people to vote for the former Chegutu West parliamentary aspirant.

The firebrand youth leader is said to have played a key role in Chamisa’s ascendancy to the throne and is reportedly bitter that he was now being sidelined.

Party chairperson, Morgen Komichi told the Business Times that investigations will be conducted to ascertain the levels of violence during the party’s primary elections.

“We will conduct investigations in Kuwadzana East and all areas where there were cases of violence which were reported during our primary elections,” he said.

“Depending on the severity of the matter, causing violence can attract a suspension or complete expulsion.”

At one point, Hwende, who is an MDC-T standing committee member accused Mukoyi of moving around with a gun, intimidating perceived Hwende supporters.

On allegations of offering Mukoyi a $10 000 buy-out from the primary election, Hwende laughed off the suggestion. “l would rather buy a beast for my supporters,” he said.

Mukoyi could not be reached for a comment.

Meanwhile, the MDC-T Chamisa faction has resolved to go into the election under the MDC Alliance banner. Both factions (Khupe and Chamisa) are fighting for the party’s name and logo in the courts.

Newly appointed Chamisa spokesperson, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda says the decision was reached after realising that the courts were taking long.

“Our candidates will clearly be distinguished using our logo, which will have the face of president Chamisa. We are going into this election as the MDC Alliance and this will separate us from the MDC-T which Khupe (Thokozani) wants to use,” he said.