THE Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party has set aside one of its MDC Alliance-allocated Bulawayo seats for women, amid revelations that the opposition party had no capacity to hold primaries.
BY SILAS NKALA
PDP national chairperson, Evelyn Masaiti confirmed the decision yesterday.
“We have already agreed as PDP for consensus in the finalisation of candidates in constituencies and that should remain the case. It will be a blunder if we target the only constituency that has a woman who has shown interest to run as an MP. As a party we should not subject the womenn quota to unfair treatment and we should bear in mind that we have not applied such treatment to other constituencies,” she said.
Former Pumula legislator Albert Mhlanga and Celesile Mahlangu were set to battle it out for the seat.
“We need to be seen following and respecting our own constitution. Consultation with most management committee members further leverages the declaration of Pumula as a women quota, and further a declaration as a party that we will respect and avail a quota for women and youth is enshrined in our constitution. Let us provide leadership that reverberates with our party declarations.”
Masaiti said it was impossible for the party to run primary elections in Pumula.
“We have no template to use for the purported primary election. One legitimate Pumula district structure and another that is alleged to be fake are evidently being peddled by two different sources which means we cannot have free, fair and credible Pumula primary elections,” she said.
“Precedence has already been set in our other 10 constituencies and changing that will be viewed as discrimination against women. We should be seen practising what we believe instead of employing lip service to such issues. It is with this mind that the above conclusion of declaring Pumula as constituency for women arises.”
Masaiti said the declaration comes after consultations with committee members.