By Violet Gonda
9 April 2013
MDC-T provincial chairman for Bulawayo Gorden Moyo has not been ‘ditched’ by his party, contrary to press reports.
State media claimed several heavyweights, including Moyo and national youth chairperson Solomon Madzore, had been “sidelined by their national council” from contesting in the MDC-T primaries because their respective constituencies are reserved for female candidates.
In a full list seen by SW Radio Africa showing the approved and disqualified candidates, not only is Moyo endorsed but he is running uncontested in Bulawayo’s Makokoba constituency. This is after deputy party president Thokozani Khupe chose not apply to retain her seat, preferring to wait for the proportional representation of 60 seats reserved for women as provided for in the draft constitution.
Madzore will contest in the Dzivarasekwa primaries after the current MP Evelyn Masaiti chose to go for the proportional representation seats.
Moyo, who is also the Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals, confirmed he was the only candidate in the Makokoba constituency and is now waiting for the party’s confirmation exercise for sitting legislators to begin sometime this month.
“Contrary to the sewage and the trash that is flowing out of the Herald newspaper this man was endorsed by the national council of our movement, as the candidate for Makokoba constituency,” Moyo told SW Radio Africa.
The minister said he was appointed the caretaker MP for Makokoba in 2009 following Khupe’s elevation to become the Deputy Prime Minister in the inclusive government.
“Therefore Makokoba is not a female constituency. I am not female. I am a man. I have all the tools of a man,” Moyo revealed.
Out of the 1000 candidates approved to contest at primary level there are at least 35 current parliamentarians who are not being challenged, but will go through a confirmation exercise conducted by their respective district councils.
Those who will go through confirmation include Ministers Tendai Biti, Elton Mangoma, Nelson Chamisa, Tapiwa Mashakada, Jameson Timba, Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo and party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.
They will automatically skip the primary elections, if confirmed, and become the MDC-T candidates for the forthcoming general elections. However, the current MPs will be subjected to primaries if they fail to get a two thirds majority via this vetting process.
Disgruntled members accuse the leadership of giving special treatment to some party heavyweights by not putting them through primaries.
In Manicaland, scores of placard carrying MDC-T protesters demonstrated on Saturday against the disqualification of Regai Tsunga from the Mutasa South primary elections. Tsunga was challenging former Mutare Mayor Misheck Kagurabadza. The former mayor is one of those unchallenged candidates waiting for confirmation.
Some of the posters by the protesters read: “Let the people decide, don’t impose candidates,” and “We do not want another ZANU PF within our party. We want democracy.”
Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora reportedly said Tsunga was disqualified because he had organized a golf tournament at Hillside Golf Course in Mutare, where he is the chairman, to celebrate President Mugabe’s birthday.
200 people were disqualified for not having been members of the party among other reasons. But the former opposition party is accused of ‘double standards’ after endorsing individuals like ex- ZANU PF Deputy Minister of Labour Tracy Mutinhiri who only joined the MDC-T in 2011.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has been abandoned by five lawmakers he saved from losing their seats in parliament after they were expelled by the MDC led by Welshman Ncube last year.
The five including Deputy Speaker of Parliament Nomalanga Khumalo (Umzingwane) had been accused of supporting the Tsvangirai led party but Mutambara insisted they belonged to his faction.
This new development means a significant number of legislators who had won the 2008 elections on a Mutambara-MDC/Ncube-MDC ticket have now crossed over to the Tsvangirai camp. This includes three legislators who were challenging President Robert Mugabe in the High Court to hold by-elections after they were fired by the Ncube camp.
Ncube-MDC spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said the MPs were fired because they violated the party’s constitution and because they were “sleeping with the enemy.”
He said: “We started galvanizing party support and having people working in those constituencies in readiness to take over the role of MP if they should be elected in the next elections. So we didn’t fire them and then go back to sleep.”
“We fired them so that the toxic toxins that they were emitting in the political space, when they were supposed to represent our party, was stopped – so that our political party can start to function on the basis of principle, on the basis of truth and on the basis of the party’s value system,” Dube said.