MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe is unlikely to stand in her faction-riddled Makokoba constituency in Bulawayo following indications that the party wants her to take one of the seats reserved for women under the proposed new constitution.
Report by Pamela Mhlanga
The speculation has been fuelled by reports that MDC-T provincial chairman Gorden Moyo submitted nomination papers to represent the party in Makokoba.
According to the Copac draft constitution, 60 women — six from each province — will be elected through proportional representation.
According to sources, the MDC-T wants to use Khupe —who is also Deputy Prime Minister — to campaign for the party on a national level and not confine herself to a single constituency.
MDC-T Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Mandla Sibanda on Sunday confirmed that Moyo had submitted his nomination papers to stand in Makokoba.
“Moyo has submitted his application to stand for Makokoba constituency just like everyone else,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Khupe were fruitless yesterday as she was said to be in a series of meetings.
The development comes at a time when the MDC-T is plagued by infighting in Makokoba with reports that on Sunday, party
supporters walked out of a meeting on the new constitution addressed by Makokoba-Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo at Mzilikazi’s MacDonald Hall.
Hlalo told NewsDay that members of the party who boycotted the meeting had disrespected him.
“I do not find a reason why they are plotting against me. These are the same people that are killing the party,” he said.
One of the party members who had boycotted the meeting told NewsDay that Moyo was the one who was supposed to address them and not the Senator.
“We were expecting Moyo to address us as he was the rightful person for that, but instead when we got to the meeting we found Hlalo,” she said.
But Sibanda insisted the meeting, which was on the Copac draft constitution, was supposed to be addressed by Hlalo.
“Senator Hlalo was the rightful person to address the meeting and he has gone around engaging residents concerning the feedback on the constitution. So it is an ongoing process,” he said.
Sibanda said the MDC-T members were disgruntled by the fact that the meeting was chaired by ward 8 councillor Mackenzie Sibanda who was suspended from the party because of the factional fights.
He said the members felt Makokoba district chairperson and ward 7 councillor James Sithole should have chaired the meeting.