Chamisa hints at new candidate selection criteria

Leader of the MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, has accused some of the party representatives of prioritising self-enrichment at the expense of the electorate who voted them into office.

He said going forward, the opposition party will adopt a new candidate selection process that may see the MDC Alliance opting for respected members of the community to represent their electorate.

Chamisa’s sentiments come in the backdrop of the recent MP recalls, where he accused some MPs and councillors of switching allegiance to the MDC-T to preserve their jobs rather than becoming change seekers.

“So because a lot of our MPs and councillors are people who are looking for opportunities, in fact, I’ve learnt from what has happened that instead of having people from coming across as change seekers, change-makers, change agents they are actually job seekers. The preoccupation is to preserve a job as an MP, or as a councillor. That has taught me a lesson that we need to revisit the whole aspect and concept of our representatives,” said the party leader in an interview on CITE’s current affairs programme, The Breakfast Club.

Chamisa said the party will go back to the drawing board to rethink its party candidate selection criteria.

“That’s why now I’m apologising to the people of Zimbabwe to say that we have not thought through our process of candidate selection. That’s why we have to go back to the drawing board so we don’t have party candidates but a community candidate, a collective ethic, a converged approach driven by the community, stakeholders and opinion makers in a community as opposed to just a political party because these processes will produce candidates or individuals who will have not have loyalties to communities and people,” he said.

He confirmed there would be a completely new candidates’ selection process, centred on communities and stakeholders opposed to party structures.

“We discovered party structures are very acerbic and toxic but they are also an important vehicle so they have to be given their role. Their role is not conclusive and definitive, it must be indicative but totally not dismissive of other key stakeholders,” said the MDC Alliance leader.

“Because when you want a vote, it’s not a vote for the party but a vote for the constituency, so these stakeholders must be honoured and respected. So yes, there’s going to be a radical shift in the candidate selection process in this organisation to allow the community to lead the process of having a collective ethic community ethic. A stakeholder-driven process is actually what takes shape and what takes fruit.”    

Chamisa also criticised the Zanu PF governmemnt of using the courts to sanctify the recalls.

“In fact, we have by law, election and by the mandate of people in 2018, all the MPs in Parliament were elected by the card and ticket of the MDC Alliance yet what we have seen is lawfare -the abuse of the courts by politicians and this case Mr Mnangagwa to try and withdraw, recall through his created surrogates, whom you know to then say, as far as they are concerned all the MPs from the MDC Alliance belongs to the MDC- T,” he denounced.

The party leader scoffed at claims that Zimbabwe no longer had an opposition, insisting that MDC Alliance was still the real game in politics.

“They (those who make such claims) don’t know what they are talking about. We are an alternative. If they want to know who we are, they must go ask Mr Mnangagwa, he will tell you that we are the only game in town, he will tell you we are the only deal. We mean real significant substance, that’s why they have nightmares, they can’t think of anything beyond the real politics of survival and what we do,” Chamisa summed.

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