Expelled MDC-T ‘independents’ form new party

Disgruntled former members of the MDC-T who were fired for standing as independents in the July 31st elections, have formed a new political party.

The Zimbabwe Independents Alliance (ZIA), is seeking to capitalise on the tensions within the MDC-T in the wake of the recent election, according to outspoken former Magwegwe legislator Felix Magalela Sibanda.

Sibanda, who is the new party’s spokesperson, said the MDC-T had shot itself in the foot by imposing candidates and sidelining long-serving party supporters.

He said when they complained to the leadership, most of the unhappy would-be legislators were either ignored or mistreated by the MDC-T’s standing committee.

“The issues that the MDC-T is moaning about concerning the recent national poll is exactly what the party did during the primary elections: The leadership distorted the electoral college in favour of their friends, bussed in people to vote,” he added.

Sibanda said he and 57 others who stood as independent candidates saw this as a sign that the MDC-T had drifted away from the founding values of democracy and transparency.

“And that is why the ZIA has been formed – to provide Zimbabweans who have toiled for 33 years under an undemocratic system with an alternative.”

Sibanda revealed that the party has started building up its structures and designing publicity material, in preparation for a national congress later in the year.

He said the party will in the meantime be headquartered in Bulawayo, and added that the bulk of the membership so far was drawn from those who went into an independents’ coalition, after being disowned by the MDC-T.

Sibanda was circumspect about revealing the substantive leadership of the new party saying he feared doing so would expose them to ongoing, post-poll reprisals.

However, some of those who stood under the banner of the Independent Candidates Coalition (ICC) include the Chairman Aaron Chinhara, Tedius Chimombe, the organising secretary, and Holy Dzuda , the treasurer. They contested the Redcliff, Gweru Urban, Gweru ward two council seats respectively.

The MDC-T has already said that it is unfazed by the formation of the breakaway group, saying political participation and affiliation is every Zimbabwean’s democratic right. – SW Radio Africa News

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