7 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Khupe Faces Resistance in Mat North

Deputy Prime Minister (dpm) Thokozani Khupe Is Facing Resistance From the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) Matabeleland North Province As She Tries to Penetrate Her Home Area of Bubi After Losing Popularity in Makokoba ConstituencySources within the party's provincial structures told The Financial Gazette this week that Khupe was working with the MDC-T's national deputy organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe, to remove hostile elements against her entry into Bubi constituency.

Khupe has been fingered in the suspension of provincial organising secretary, Thembiso Sibindi and the deputy provincial secretary, Angeline Kheswa last week, which angered party supporters in the province.

She is being accused of bringing in-fighting and factionalism from Bulawayo to Matabeleland North.

But DPM Khupe denies the allegations, saying she is popular in Matabeleland and was not a source of divisions.

"People claiming that are very stupid. I am a deputy president of the party so why would I promote infighting and factionalism? Why are some people so mean and crazy? Obert Mpofu (a ZANU-PF Politburo member and Minister of Mines) is campaigning all over Matabeleland North, does that mean he wants all those seats? No, he is campaigning for his party, which is exactly what I am doing," Khupe told The Financial Gazette.

She also dismissed reports that she intended to ditch her Makokoba constituency due to waning support, claiming she still had a tight grip there.

"That is what I call absolute rubbish. Why in the first place would I campaign for a seat in Bubi when I have a constituency in Makokoba? I am sick of people who keep claiming that I have lost support in Makokoba. Honestly, how do you measure that a person has lost support when there has not been an election, how do you measure that?" fumed the deputy premier.

Khupe said when she campaigns in Matabeleland North she would be campaigning for the MDC-T and not for herself. She said there was no way she would sit back and watch while a ZANU-PF Member of Parliament won in her village in Bubi.

Party sources allege that a number of officials were up for suspension because of their opposition to Khupe's interest in Bubi.

A few months ago, former deputy party spokesperson, Thabitha Khumalo was demoted from her post and her crime, sources say, was to challenge Khupe for the deputy presidency post during a party congress held last year.

"Sibindi and Kheswa were suspended just because they opposed Khupe's ambitions to contest in Bubi constituency. A number of officials are also lined up for suspension," said a source who requested anonymity.

Sources say several other officials including Hwange Central legislator, Brian Tshuma, Hwange Rural District Council chairperson, Cosmas Ndlovu and his entire team of councillors could be suspended.

They are accused of being sympathetic to ZANU-PF after they were seen attending a rally organised by Umguza legislator, Mpofu at Dinde Secondary School recently.

Victoria Falls deputy mayor, Patricia Mwale is also accused of being too close to mayor Nkosilathi Jiyane who resigned from the party following moves to suspend him over alleged links to ZANU-PF.

At the moment, Bubi constituency is held by ZANU-PF's Clifford Sibanda.

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