MDC-T organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe has reportedly secured Bulawayo nomination for the party presidency after trouncing four other candidates, among them acting president Thokozani Khupe and interim secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora in the party’s internal polls.
The party at the weekend held provincial elections for presidential nominations, where Bhebhe secured the Bulawayo vote in the drama-filled polls characterised by allegations of fraud by opposing camps.
As of yesterday, the official results had not yet been announced amid reports that Bhebhe had garnered enough votes to make him the winner against Khupe, Mwonzora, acting party chairperson Morgen Komichi and party deputy president Elias Mudzuri.
Party insiders claimed Bhebhe secured 170 nominations, followed by Khupe with 35 and Mwonzora a distant third with seven.
Other hopefuls Komichi and Mudzuri each got zero nominations.
NewsDay is reliably informed that Khupe is now plotting to bar Bhebhe, who castigated her last month in court papers for making unilateral decisions as well as flouting party rules, from contesting for presidency.
The opposition party is supposed to hold an extraordinary congress next month as mandated by the Supreme Court to deal with the leadership wrangle.
Both Mwonzora and Bhebhe confirmed that the official results were yet to be announced, with the latter, however, insisting that he had won the Bulawayo provincial vote.
“The first hurdle that I had was to be officially announced that I am a candidate and I did that yesterday (Sunday) morning. After that, it was game on,” Bhebhe said yesterday.
“What I can say for now is that I know for a fact that in terms of the 2014 structures, the people have spoken and they will continue speaking. I am now focusing on Matabeleland South (province) on Saturday and Midlands on Sunday.”
About 250 members of the provincial council formed the party’s Bulawayo electoral college.
Mwonzora said: “What I do know is that the result has not been announced. No declaration has been made. I understand they are trying to verify one or two things, but what I can tell you is that what is appearing on social media is just mere
Komichi refuted reports that he and his campaign manager were assaulted by Mwonzora’s supporters during the elections.
“Nothing like that ever happened. I wasn’t harassed nor was my campaign manager harassed. The campaign and nomination process are going without any violence,” he said.
The battle for the MDC-T leadership has left several casualties after the party recalled a number of MDC Alliance legislators and councillors for questioning Khupe’s legitimacy as the party leader.