MDC-T Acting President Khupe narrowly prevailed in Bulawayo to bag her home town nomination albeit by a paltry and hotly disputed 50 votes.
The nomination election is reported to have been delayed by more than five hours as Khupe was allegedly still missing at the venue to give a go ahead for the polls to begin. Her eventual attendence sparked high drama as youths linked to expelled MP Helen Zivire aka Tsepiso and former deputy Mayor Tinashe Kambarami bulldozed their way into the venue after removing the gate and letting in at least 10 people who were not official delegates. So marred was the electoral college of the nomination that it took over three hours for the actual vote to be completed for a mere 116 delegates who attended out of a possible 238.
At the end of the polls 231 votes were found, 15 more than the number that had been accredited, sparking a dispute which lasted late into the night and only ended when all candidates resolved to table the Bulawayo elections at the next Standing Committee meeting.
However election commissioners who requested anonymity said that Khupe garnered 50 votes, Bhebhe 35 votes, and Mwonzora 31 votes with Mudzuri, Komichi and Chimanikire firing blanks.
Contacted for comment a top Khupe ally said that “Public officials in Bulawayo had a clear choice between voting for their survival or being recalled if Dr Khupe had not been nominated. Bhebhe is a Chamisa blue-eye whose loss is evidence of the dwindling political fortunes for the 2018 presidential candidate. Mwonzora was counting on the Alliance vote which was clearly spoiled by Bhebhe. This will be the pattern throughout the country and Dr Khupe will be elected president. Watch the space.”
MDC fell into factions after the demise of its founding president Morgan Tsvangirai and is in serious need for a leader who has the temerity to stitch all the warring factions as well as positioning the party to facing ZANU PF in the next elections.
Whilst Mwonzora arguably looks set to grab the majority of the remaining nominations given Khupe’s unconvincing home mark, the entrance of a Chamisa backed Bhebhe will be expected to cause some upsets before the proper election polls pencilled for December 2020.
At the time of going to print it was unclear where and when the next provincial nominations will be held.