Matweu accused of buying votes with cell phones, suits
He was speaking at a meeting to bring sanity in Mashonaland East following the Two Boy intraparty violence and reports that the provincial executive wanted to impose an unknown businessman, Jason Matewu, as the next parliamentary candidate for Marondera Urban.
“Who is this Matewu that people are complaining about? Does anyone know his political background or the status of his party membership?” asked Chamisa, apparently directing the question at district chairperson, Chengetai Murova.
Murova distanced himself from the issue, saying Matewu was introduced by provincial Chairperson, Pinnel Denga, as a top party member: “He is a baby of the provincial executive,” he said. Party members told Chamisa that in a bid to buy votes, Matewu bought some 80 mobile phones from the UK and gave them to influential party leaders.
He also allegedly bought designer suits for elected councillors at the local authority, donated a T-35 truck to Denga, dished out cash and furniture to leaders and purchased a residential stand in Marondera for a former top official – among other allegations. Chamisa disqualified Matewu from the race pending further investigations.
He said it was against party policy for anyone to lobby for a candidate whose political credentials were not clear. “In light of the surfacing vote buying allegations in the province, future candidate nominations will pass through my office,” he added.
He reiterated that MDC-T was a non violent party and would deal with any unruly behaviour.He also noted that the current provincial executive came into office through alleged violence. “You are lucky that you came into office following violence at Harvest House last year before I assumed the national organisor- ship. During my term of office no one would benefit from violent behaviour.” He took a swipe at the leadership which he described as the worst performing in the country.
“I could have dissolved this provincial leadershiplong back for non performance, but I wanted to give it a chance to deliver. It is disturbing to note that instead of carrying out constructive party duties, provincial leadership and part of the district executive were busy plotting suspensions of bona-fide party cadres. Party structures should work as a family and avoid personalising issues at the expense of the party.”
He said given worrisome shortcomings in leadership qualities among some provincial and district executive members, MDC-T would conduct work shops to equip office bearers with the required skills. Residents commended Chamisa for climbing down from his national level office to address problems affecting the party at as low as branch level.