The voting process at the MDC elective congress in Gweru began on a chaotic note amid indications that several eligible voters left the venue before casting their ballots due to the slow process.
Thousands of voters were yet to cast their ballots by 5.pm this Sunday in a dog eat dog congress where are choosing the leadership which will be at the helm of the formation for the next five years.
ZBC News witnessed several delegates going back to their homes as they complained about the slow process which is viewed as a ploy to frustrate the voters perceived to be in the wrong basket.
To add insult to injury, several delegates who slept in the open due to the shambolic organisation by the party leadership were complaining of hunger with vendors cashing in on the situation as some delegates were not provided with food.
The ZBC News crew tried to get a comment from the disgruntled delegates but was blocked by some rowdy youths led by one, Youssef who threatened to destroy the ZBC News equipment and beat up this reporter.
“Get away from this place you liars. We are here to defend our struggle. We will break that camera and beat you guys up if you don’t leave,” he shouted
Incumbent MDC Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora, who is on record saying he could not contest the presidential elections due to an uneven playing field, chose to be diplomatic and said he will give his view on the voting process after getting a report from his agents.
“I must say I can only be able to give a proper assessment of the proceedings after the votes have been counted and after I get a full briefing from the guys on the ground,” he said.
Incumbent party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume who is also seeking another term in the position, acknowledged the slow pace to the voting process and said sleeping in the open is part of the struggle.
“Yes the process has been very slow but I must say our people are very patient and we are putting in place logistics so that everyone is given their chance to vote. Sleeping in the open at a congress is not peculiar to the MDC congress, as this is experienced the world over. Hotel rooms are left empty as people are on the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, the women’s assembly ended its voting process last night (Saturday midnight) with results expected to be announced concurrently with those of the national standing committee.