THE Thokozani Khupe-led faction of the MDC-T yesterday said it had fielded 110 out of the country’s 210 parliamentary seats at stake in next month’s general elections.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
The seats are more concentrated in the Matabeleland regions, but the party also managed to field candidates in most constituencies in and around Harare.
Khupe, who broke ranks with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa after leadership disputes following the death of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February, also submitted her nomination papers last week and will be among the 23 presidential candidates battling for the country’s top post. Addressing journalists in Harare, party spokesperson Linda Masarira, said they were ready to contest the elections despite failure by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release the voters’ roll on time.
She claimed the party failed to field some candidates in other constituencies after they were turned away after Zec claimed the people who nominated them were not on the voters’ roll.
“Zec failed to avail the voters’ roll before nomination court day and there is perpetual verbal and physical abuse from the other political parties, in particular the MDC Alliance,” Masarira said.
“However, this has not created a setback in our political vision and ambition as we have managed to mobilise and have a stable political party in a short period after our congress in April, managing to field 110 MPs for the 2018 elections which is about 52.8 % of the anticipated 210.”
She added: “We are a political party that has got a vision and the seal for the best as we have managed to have the best within that short space of time.”
Masarira said the party would now roll out a nationwide campaign to drum up support for its candidates.
She also dismissed any hope of reunion between her party and the Chamisa-led MDC Alliance.
“We are aware that certain individuals are sending out wrong messages to the people saying we are reuniting with the MDC Alliance. We want to categorically state that we do not have such intentions as we are the real MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe.”
Masarira defended the use of the “T” on the party’s name, saying it had been kept as an honour to the party’s late founding leader, Tsvangirai.
The party’s vice-president Obert Gutu dismissed claims by members of the MDC Alliance that it fielded candidates who lost in the MDC Alliance primary elections.
“That is hogwash, we are an organised party and we don’t need the help of the MDC Alliance,” Gutu said.