MDC-T MPs to stand as independent candidates

BULAWAYO - Two disgruntled legislators in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC on Friday filed their nomination papers as independent candidates at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court after “losing” during party primaries they deem flawed.

Felix Magagela Mafa for Magwegwe Constituency and Samuel Sandla Khumalo for Pelandaba-Mpopoma Constituency yesterday broke tradition over contested primary poll outcomes through the Nomination Court.

Khumalo only secured 108 votes against MDC provincial youth chairman Bekithemba Nyathi’s 164, but Mafa retained his seat in Magwegwe Constituency only for the party to contest the results.

Aspiring MDC candidate Kidwell Mujuru who lost to Reggie Moyo on the Luveve-Cowdray Park seat also chose to face his nemesis as an independent candidate.

Speaking to the Daily News soon after lodging their nomination papers, the two legislators spoke of a party divided on tribal and factional lines in Matabeleland.

“There are people who are undermining our role in the struggle. The people are creating empires for themselves and unfortunately these are the people at the top,” complained Khumalo.

“It’s a pity that the president (Tsvangirai) is surrounded by people who are personalising the party and are busy bringing in friends and relatives at the expense of senior party cadres who stood with the party during hard times,” he said.

Khumalo made it clear that despite disagreements on the two issues he had not cut ties with the party.

“I love the party. I can’t leave the party that I help found and sacrificed for. I like my president and I support the values of the party,” he said.

Khumalo was convinced that he was going to win the election as “it is the people who requested me to represent them”.

On the other hand, Mafa, who is also discontented by the way primary elections were handled in the party, said: “I won the elections but they reversed my results because I am not Ndebele.

“I appealed against the decisions to the national executive, but I received no response and it left me no option but to make a statement in this way.”

“The Gorden Moyo-led province has failed to lead the party. All they have done is to bring the mafikizoloz (Johnny-come -lately) into the party and do away with all Shona labelled candidates.”

Mafa however, said he was going to campaign and vote for Tsvangirai and that he was certain of retaining the Magwegwe seat.

Both candidates accused party vice-president Thokozani Khupe of imposing candidates in the greater Matabeleland region, a move they say has contributed to the party losing its support base.

Comments (1)

Both losing candidates should keep quiet. SOUR GRAPES


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