The Nelson Chamisa faction of the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai has admitted fielding candidates in areas reserved for its Alliance partners but argued that it defies logic to field a weaker candidate just for the sake of the coalition deal.
MDC-T chairperson Morgen Komichi said Alliance partners should now let go because there is now less than 40 days to campaign.
“We want to be practical. When we say alliance, it is suicidal to put a candidate that is not popular when we are only left with less than 40 days before the election. We are just one family and in the spirit of the alliance, we are just one organisation and we want the spirit to win the elections,” he was quoted by Newsday as saying.
“Good alliance partners are those who will say let’s look at the reality on the ground because there is no time to start marketing those people.
“In terms of decision-making, it will be prudent for an organisation to say whilst we would have wanted a certain person to stand in the alliance, will that person produce the desired results.”
Komichi argued that his party did the right thing by fielding strong candidates but Alliance spokesman Welshman Ncube, who leads the MDC, argued otherwise.
“Yes, we did the right thing there is no time to start marketing other people,” Komichi said. “We encourage our partners to understand the bigger picture and it is about winning the elections. If you are playing soccer, you don’t substitute a good player and replace with a weaker one.
“The manager will recommend the best player to replace a weaker player. In terms of popularity on the ground, in terms of areas where we had double nomination, the alliance partners are weaker compared to the MDC-T candidates.”
Ncube argued: “How did they judge the weaknesses of candidates? They don’t know and whose CVs? After all at least two of the candidates whose seats they seized were very strong sitting women MPs of whom they replaced with a man who has previously lost 2 consecutive elections,
“One woman they removed in Mashonaland East had the full backing of traditional leaders and structures of the MDC-T on the ground and yet she was removed even after the traditional leaders had pleaded that she not be removed.”
MDC-T youth leader was more to the point when he spelt out what the coalition is really about.
“Our alliance is mainly on the president and there is no reason for people to cry over seats because what is important is to win the presidency.”
According to the Herald, the Alliance did not contest 90 council seats because of the confusion. It also contested 209 instead of 210 national assembly seats.
The extent to which MDC-T dribbled its partners will be known on Monday when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission publishes the full list of candidates contesting in the 30 July elections.