…five-year threshold raises eyebrows
…independent candidates shut out
It is all systems go for the MDC Alliance 2019 congress as its guiding template which spells out the rules of the game has been released with many questions being raised on the five-year membership limit to enable members to contest from ward to national posts.
According to the template, a candidate is eligible to contest for any position from ward up to national levels if they have served in the party for at least five years while branches have a minimum of two years.
This clause has raised many questions on the fate of those who joined the alliance from other opposition political parties but party spokesperson Jacob Mafume defended the move saying it was done to plug infiltration.
“The five-year period does not shut anyone out. We are not saying five years with the MDC but five years serving in their former parties before they joined the alliance.
“We do not want people without any history to come and contest for posts because we want to avoid infiltration. We know there are people who want to sneak into our processes but we will not let them get away with it,” said Mafume.
Asked what would happen to former Zanu PF members and those that joined the alliance from parties that are not yet five-years-old, Mafume said the congress will not shut out genuine members.
“The congress is not there to shut anyone out. We all have a history in politics and we will look into that before we let people run for positions,” said Mafume.
The MDC Alliance congress is going to start at branch level with all branches across the country going for the polls between March 22 and March 24 while districts will vote between March 29 and March 31.
Provincial congresses will be done between April 5 and April 27 setting the stage for the national congress to be held from May 24 to May 26.
“If for any reason, one stood as an independent candidate, they are automatically disqualified from contesting and participating in the congress processes.
“Candidates will be disqualified if they promote factionalism or if they campaign as a slate. Malicious gossiping is strictly prohibited,” the template reads.
It prohibits members from campaigning in provinces where they do not reside except for national positions.
“No one is allowed to campaign in a province where they do not come from except for national positions.
All candidates shall be given a formal platform (caucuses) at various levels to present their credentials and programmes as justification for suitability to be office holders.
“Districts shall convene caucuses for provincial candidates to present their manifestos. Provinces shall convene caucuses for national candidates to present their manifestos. The youth assembly shall convene a youth caucuses for candidates,” reads the template.
On the national nomination procedure, the templates states that, “The nomination process for national positions shall be presided over by an Independent Board appointed by National Executive.
“For one to be elected he /she must have at least have one nomination from Province to National. According to the constitution there are 13 provinces in the party, 10 in Zimbabwe and 3 outside Zimbabwe.”
The party’s security department will do the vetting process working with the organising department.