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MDC-T bigwigs accused of trying to rig elections

by Staff Reporter
21 May 2013 at 00:18hrs | Views
MDC-T will finally hold its primary elections on Saturday amid escalating internal disgruntlement with members accusing party bigwigs of trying to rig the outcome.

The party's primaries, which were initially scheduled to take place at the beginning of the month, were postponed twice due to infighting over positions.

Some party officials who spoke to this paper expressed displeasure over the manner in which party bigwigs intended to handle the elections.

"We are aware that the party's bigwigs will rig the outcome of the elections. They have come up with all sorts of strategies aimed at frustrating aspiring candidates in the primaries. They have also ensured that those they like avoid going through the primaries," said an MDC-T official.

In Bulawayo, the party's former chairperson for the youth assembly Thamsanqa Mahlangu is standing unchallenged for Nkulumane constituency while the provincial chairperson Mr Gorden Moyo has been selected to run unopposed for Makokoba constituency.

Party members in Makokoba have, however, vowed to fight the MDC-T's imposition of Mr Moyo through a protest vote in the elections.

They accused MDC-T Deputy President Thokozani Khupe of facilitating Moyo's imposition.
"According to the party's laws, Makokoba is reserved for women candidates. The party has broken one of its golden rules by imposing Gorden Moyo here. Khupe rigged the outcome by announcing that she would not contest for the seat, after the deadline for submission of applications for primaries had elapsed," said an official.

The official said the party should have allowed supporters to select women members of their choice to replace Ms Khupe. "At the moment, a protest vote would be the only answer. Our petitions to the leadership have fallen on deaf ears. We even sent a petition with more than 500 signatures begging our leaders nationally and in the province to reverse their decision but they have chosen to ignore it," said another official.

Cracks have also rocked party structures in Matabeleland South amid reports that members were resisting candidates who defected from the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC.

Some MDC-T sitting Members of Parliament are facing stiff competition from as much as five to 10 aspiring candidates but the party has ensured all standing committee members avoid contesting in the primaries.

In cases where junior party members dared to challenge standing committee members, they were either disqualified or pushed to other constituencies. Other bigwigs who would not face primaries include secretary general Tendai Biti, his deputy Tapiwa Mashakada, organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, women's assembly chairperson Theresa Makone and deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma. Mr Elias Mudzuri who is also standing unopposed

Source - Chronicle