MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe has reportedly suspended the holding of nominations in Matabeleland North and Midlands South provinces citing the coronavirus crisis and a police interdiction to the ongoing nominations.
However, reports claim that Khupe decided to shelve the nominations following the surprise win by party organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe in nominations for the presidency held in Bulawayo over the weekend.
Bustop TV reported that efforts to get a comment from MDC-T and Khupe’s spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni were unsuccessful as he did not respond to the questions sent to him.
Unnamed party insiders who spoke to the publication said the trio of Khupe, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and national chairman Morgan Komichi were shocked by Bhebhe’s unexpected victory in Bulawayo.
Bhebhe reportedly secured 170 nominations, followed by Khupe with 35 and Mwonzora a distant third with 7, while Komichi and former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri got zero nominations between them.
A political analyst, Malcolm Ziki, opined that Bhebhe has remained true to MDC founding values and is untainted with accusations of working with the ruling ZANU PF party like his rivals. Said Ziki:
There is no doubt that Bhebhe might surprise many in this race. From his fights with his fellow leaders, he sounded very true to the MDC founding values. He sounds a unifier. From the leaders who are garnering for the top post, most of them are tainted and are considered ZANU PF proteges.