Former Biti ally eyes Masvingo MDC top post

MASVINGO— Former Tendai Biti led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) deputy secretary general Tongai Matutu has thrown his hat in the ring to contest for the provincial chairperson post pitting him against the incumbent chairperson James Gumbi.

Matutu and Gumbi will square off at the MDC Alliance provincial congress to be conducted from April 5 to April 27, 2019, with both camps having already started campaigning for the popular vote.

The former Masvingo Urban parliamentarian, Matutu, has earned support from other prodigal sons who once left the MDC to join other parties but later on retraced their footsteps back to MDC.

Matutu dumped Biti’s PDP in 2016 and re-joined MDC as a card carrying member but he has revived his ambitions to be the provincial boss.

Speaking to this publication, Matutu said he is the best man for the job and no one can do it better than him.

“MDC has literally died in the province. The current provincial executive has failed to keep the party alive at grassroots level.

“There is a lot of work which needs to be done to revive the vibrancy the party used to have. Masvingo used to be an MDC stronghold but that has not been the case since this current executive took over.

“We now need a new executive which will go back to the people and spread the good word,” said Matutu.

Matutu said the people of Masvingo have voted for president Nelson Chamisa in the previous election but have not voted for MDC Members of Parliament (MPs) largely because the candidates were imposed.

“If you look at the figures you will see that president Chamisa did very well in the province but our MPs performed badly. This is because the provincial executive was out of sync with the grassroots and a lot of corrupt activities were done to impose candidates,” said Matutu.

Gumbi took over from Benard Chiondegwa led executive back in 2014 and things started going south for the party.

Under the Gumbi executive, MDC has only won one parliamentary seat out of the 26 in last year’s harmonised elections.

The poor performance has been attributed to Gumbi’s hot headedness after he refused to cede constituencies to alliance partners resulting in the fielding of double candidates in most constituencies