10 January 2013

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Divided Over Moyo Replacement

JOSTLING for the right to replace the late Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Mr Seiso Moyo has started with MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora likely to battle it out with Senator Sibusisiwe Masara.

Party insiders said Mr Mwonzora was likely to take over the post because he was the only national standing committee member in Parliament without a ministerial post.

Recently sworn in non-constituency Sen Masara who is the secretary general of the MDC-T women's assembly is also another dark horse.

There are indications that the issue has become sensitive in the MDC-T with some provinces allegedly clamouring to provide the replacement.

It is understood several names in the party are also being pushed by some senior party officials for consideration but two senior officials are now the front runners.

"A number of names are being put forward by some people at the top and some of these people include Mwonzora and Senator Masara," said a source.

"As you may be aware, Mr Mwonzora is the only standing committee member who is not in Government so this could be his chance."

However, another source said some officials felt Mr Mwonzora had his share at Copac where he was the co-chairperson.

"People feel Mwonzora had his chance at Copac where he made some money. Now it should be someone else. Senator Masara stands a chance if the (party) president listens to (Theresa) Makone who is the Women's Assembly chairperson because she would obviously want women to be empowered," said a source.

The source said Chimanimani West legislator Mrs Lynnette Karenyi Kore had an outside chance while Midlands North could also have a say.

"This post was initially reserved for Manicaland (Roy Bennett) so now could be the time for it to be given to someone from that province and Sen Kore stands a chance to balance party female representation in Government.

"However, Midlands North province has no one in Government at the moment so they have said they also wanted to be considered. People in Matabeleland also feel there is a need to have someone from that region to replace Seiso because he was from Matabeleland.

"The other names that were being mentioned are those of Solomon Madzore (National Youth Chairperson) and Abednico Bhebhe (deputy organising secretary). However, these are out because we have no more vacant slots that need to be filled in Parliament.

"Some people also felt it was not going to be beneficial to the party to have both organisers (national organising secretary Mr Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Mr Bhebhe) in Government or the youth leader (Mr Madzore) in Government when we are already in the election season," said the source.

MDC-T organising secretary Mr Nelson Chamisa, promised to give a comment, but his phone later went unanswered.

Mr Mwonzora said it was the prerogative of his party leader Mr Tsvangirai to nominate a replacement.

"I am too sad at the death of Seiso Moyo who was such a fantastic gentleman to be thinking of that," he said.

"It is the right and power of the Prime Minister to make appointments as he deems fit.

"People saying those things are insensitive and cruel because it is less than a month since this man met his death. I am not with them in this insensitivity."

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