MDC-T deputy spokesperson and Bulawayo East legislator Thabitha Khumalo has resolved to step down and not contest in the 2018 general elections after she ceded her parliamentary seat to MDC’s David Coltart as part of the opposition parties’ coalition deal.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
“Coltart is most likely to be the MDC Alliance candidate in Bulawayo East after Khumalo offered to stand down for him in furtherance of the alliance. She will be deployed by the party to run our election information blitz ahead of the polls,” the source said.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Khumalo initially said she was not aware of the deal.
“You heard it from who? I was not aware that the allocation of seats had been agreed,” she said before saying she was committed to see the alliance work and would sacrifice for the greater good of the country.
“Interesting, if the time comes I will take the necessary action for Zimbabweans and will do whatever it takes to ensure that we win and dislodge Zanu PF from power. They have destroyed this country and surely I cannot allow more than 13 million people to suffer so that I hold on to a parliamentary seat,” she said.
Her comments come at a time MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe has clashed with party leader Morgan Tsvangirai over their party’s involvement in the coalition pact and criteria used to share parliamentary seats among the seven opposition parties who make up the MDC Alliance.
Khupe, party chairperson Lovemore Moyo and suspended organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe have publicly stated that they do not subscribe to the idea of ceding the MDC-T’s Matabeleland seats to other opposition parties, claiming the party should coalesce in other regions where it was less popular.
The trio recently boycotted the launch of the alliance in Harare and Bulawayo, accusing Tsvangirai of rushing to seal the deal before reaching consensus with other top party leaders.
The boycott has created a rift raising fears that the MDC-T could split ahead of the crucial 2018 elections.
A meeting between Tsvangirai and his deputy, which had been pencilled for Monday, failed to happen after the parties failed to settle for a venue.
Sources said talks were ongoing to bring Khupe, Moyo and Tsvangirai to the negotiating table.