By Beven Takunda
Harare, September 5, 2013 – Professor Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) is reportedly luring disgruntled MDC-T members into a new political party which it intends to launch soon, Radio VOP can exclusively reveal.
The discontented members include those who lost in both the labour-based party’s primary elections and the July 31 harmonised poll in which they performed dismally as independent candidates.
The officials, including former parliamentarians alleged that their party’s primary elections were rigged by the top brass who they accused of imposing unpopular candidates who later became easy prey for Zanu(PF).
One of the disillusioned MDC-T senior members told Radio VOP that the NCA had approached him on Thursday requesting him to attend a meeting this weekend.
“I have just received the invitation requesting me to join them in Harare this Saturday. The agenda of the meeting is to discuss the formation of a new NCA instigated political party” said the official.
“Some of those invited together with me include Emmanuel Chiroto and Farai Nyandoro the outgoing deputy mayor and mayor of Harare and Marondera respectively. This is what I can tell you at the moment,” added the official.
Emmanuel Chiroto, fired from the former Prime Minister’s party on corruption allegations but shielded from leaving office by outgoing local government minister Ignatius Chombo contested as an independent candidate in Harare North where together with the MDC-T Women’s Assembly leader and outgoing co-minister of Home Affairs Teresa Makone were defeated by Zanu(PF)’s Tongesai Mudambo.
Nyandoro, who was at one time suspended from the party on allegations’ of wining and dining with ZANU (PF) officials in Mashonaland East Province did not contest in the just ended election.
Over the years Nyandoro has had serious differences with the MDC-T Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Piniel Denga over party issues.
NCA spokesperson Madock Chivasa confirmed the Saturday meeting but strongly denied that they were luring dissatisfied MDC-T members.
“We regularly hold meetings with anyone including the people you have mentioned. Anyone interested in our activities usually attends. But I want to put the record straight that we are not luring anyone to join the party which we intend to establish, and this meeting is not aimed at that at all. If they want to join us in the new party they are welcome but I repeat we are not luring anyone to join,” stressed Chivasa.
In May this year, Madhuku, a constitutional law expert and University of Zimbabwe law lecturer announced that he was going to form a political party. He was supported by MDC99 leader Job Sikhala, and International Socialist Organization coordinator and former Highfield legislator Munyaradzi Gwisai. Due to Madhuku’s recent extensive coverage in the state-controlled media, some political commentators have concluded that the former fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe is now singing from the same hymn book with Zanu (PF) especially when it comes to criticizing the Tsvangirai led MDC.
The NCA has already announced that it will hold a meeting at the end of this month in Chitungwiza where it is widely expected to transform into a political party.
Meanwhile, former MDC-T legislator for Magwegwe, educationist Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda, the interim leader of a group of losing independent candidates also hinted about the formation of a political party which also planned to meet before the end of the year.
Mafa Sibanda and others were fired after they contested the elections as independent candidates in protest against what they said was rigging and tribalism during the party’s primary elections.