STAFF WRITERS 22 January 2018
HARARE – A faction of the main MDC opposed to a coalition deal inked by
party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in August last year, is going against the
spirit binding the MDC Alliance by getting its members to contest the
forthcoming polls in constituencies reserved for other parties signatory
to the agreement.
The MDC faction – linked to vice president Thokozani Khupe – has prepared
a list of parliamentary candidates to contest in constituencies in
Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South.
Some of the aspiring candidates interviewed by the Daily News said they
were now waiting for the right time before they could roll out their
In terms of the MDC Alliance agreement, Tsvangirai’s party is not supposed
to deploy candidates to contest seats reserved for other members of the
Khupe who could not be reached for comment yesterday, has made her
position clear that there was no need for a coalition in the Matabeleland
since the region was already a stronghold for the MDC.
From the list seen by the Daily News, Khupe will fight it out with Tshinga
Dube (Zanu PF) in Makokoba constituency, while the MDC’s national
organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe will seek to retain his Nkayi North
Interestingly, the list exclude sitting members of Parliament who are
backing Tsvangirai’s efforts to contest the forthcoming polls under the
MDC Alliance banner.
These include Dingilizwe Tshuma (Emakhandeni), Prince Dubeko Sibanda
(Binga North) Dorcas Sibanda (Bulawayo Central) and Tabitha Khumalo
Also excluded from the list is Bulawayo provincial chair Gift Banda.
Khumalo told the Daily News that she was disappointed that certain
individuals in her party were fighting personal wars yet it was time for
all like-minded individuals and political parties to come together and end
Zanu PF’s 37 year rule.
“I am aware of such but what is surprising is that in 2014 we had a
congress which endorsed the issue of a big tent, convergence and an
alliance and for some reasons why don’t those people not prepared to take
heed,” she said.
“The constitution should be the order of the party. Why violate the same
constitution, which governs us? This is no longer about us as individuals
but about the long-sufferings people of Zimbabwe”.
Khumalo encouraged dissenting voices in the MDC to learn from history.
“We broke ourselves into many pieces as a party and today what have we
achieved? Totally nothing. So what is so wrong in us coming together to
finish Zanu PF once and for all?” she asked.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube confirmed seeing the list.
“The decisions which were made by the alliance are that each party will
contest in the constituency allocated to them. I am aware that the MDC-T
had a standing committee yesterday (Wednesday) and they reiterated that
position. I am not a spokesperson of the MDC-T but as alliance partners we
get such updates,” Ncube said.
“As far as we are concerned, the MDC-T remains with 114 seats that we
allocated to them and in my view one who goes outside that is not only
acting against the party’s position but also that of the alliance,” he
Ncube described those behind the list as merely grandstanding in a bid to
derail a collective effort by the alliance.
Bulawayo MDC provincial spokesperson Felix Mafa was professed ignorance
about the list.
He said: “I am not aware of such things, I will have to find out but we
have to be careful on such things because there is a lot of media
speculation which are not authentic therefore we can’t comment on that”.
There was also confusion in Harare East after MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu
tweeted that he wanted to have a go at the seat which the MDC Alliance has
reserved for People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Tendai Biti.
MDC acting president Elias Mudzuri downplayed the Gutu issue saying he had
spoken to him over the matter and his response was that he was not aware
that such was the case.
“I have spoken to Gutu over the matter but he has explained to me that he
only tweeted saying he had prepared to contests there because he was not
aware that the seat had been reserved for an alliance partner.
“Politicians can express their feelings but when in an organisation, we
can always sit and talk to say this we can do that we cannot”.
About the internal contradictions in the party, Mudzuri said the coalition
was in an “excellent” state of health.
“I have not heard about that list and when it finally comes to my
attention I will deal with it. The health of the coalition is excellent,”
According to the seats distribution arrangement adopted by the MDC
Alliance, the MDC led by Tsvangirai would get 114 out of the 210 seats to
PDP, led by Biti will get 14 seats while Ncube’s party will get 32 seats.
The Zimbabwe People First, under Agrippa Mutambara, has been allocated 30
seats with Transform Zimbabwe party led by Jacob Ngarivhume’s contesting
in 19 seats.
The little known Multi-Racial Christian Democrats will contest for one