Thokozani Khupe develops cold feet
2012 August 18 22:29:49 | 3265 Views
DEPUTY Prime Minister and MDC-T Member of Parliament for Makokoba Ms Thokozani Khupe is said to be planning to abandon her constituency for her rural home Bubi, in the event that the draft constitution fails to become the supreme law of Zimbabwe.
DPM Khupe, who is expected to be one of Prime Ministers Morgan Tsvangirai's presidential election running mates, will not contest as an MP if the current draft constitution, MDC-T is backing, sails through.
She is reported to have told her closest allies that she fears a backlash from the Makokoba constituency and believed that she had more chances of winning a seat as a representative of her rural home where she is scheduled to hold a rally today.
Efforts to get a comment from DPM Khupe were fruitless as an assistant, who answered her phone, said she was at her rural home preparing for the rally.
However the partyâ€™s deputy spokesperson, Mr Gabuza Joel Gabuza said it was not true that the Deputy Prime Minister was targeting the rural constituency but said the party would stand with its resolution to have her as a running mate in the presidential election and not as an MP.
"These is just speculation and nothing else. As a party we went public in appointing her as a running mate and we don't see her contesting in any other constituency in case of any elections," said the deputy spokesperson.
According to party insiders, DPM Khupe, who is also the MDC-T's vice president, has developed cold feet and is worried that her popularity has sunk in Makokoba where she is accused of having a hand in the chaos that has seen disgruntled party members defecting to the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC.
If DPM Khupe throws in her hat for the Bubi seat, she will most likely battle for it with Cde Clifford Sibanda, who is the incumbent Member of the House of Assembly for Bubi.
"The party has already endorsed DPM Khupe as their running candidate if the draft constitution sails through meaning she won't be in a position to contest for any seat in parliament however in case the constitution doesn't come about she fears that she will fare is she did in the last elections because of all these defections and factionalism allegations that have hit her constituency.
"With this consideration she is thus targeting her rural home in Insuza were she believes she has a better following," said the party source.
The source further revealed that Senator Matson Hlalo had weakened DPM Khupe's structures in Makokoba as he wants to move from the Senate to the House of Assembly.
"It is clear that Senator Hlalo is positioning himself to challenge the Deputy Prime Minister in Makokoba in a case that the draft constitution does not sail through and with past events with regards to the defections and the link that Senator Hlalo has, it is clear that heads will roll if elections are declared anytime soon," said the source.
The party's Bulawayo province has of late been under the scope after more than 350 of its members defected to the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation citing ill-treatment from the party leadership.
A greater fraction of these defectors were from Makokoba.
The defectors were alleged to be part of a group of its supporters that were aligned to Senator Hlalo and Ms Thabitha Khumalo at the MDC-T congress held in the city last year.
During the congress Ms Khumalo challenged DPM Khupe for the party's vice presidency while Senator Hlalo was involved in a bitter battle with Mr Gorden Moyo to be the party's Bulawayo provincial chairperson.
Over 1 200 party supporters recently signed a petition to have Senator Hlalo expelled from the party.
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