SENIOR MDC-T members from Matabeleland region are allegedly jostling to replace fired deputy president Dr Thokozani Khupe.
MDC-T last month fired Dr Khupe together with her allies, national organising secretary Abednego Bhebhe and national spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu who have since formed their party although retaining the same name.
Their expulsion has resulted in party members jostling to replace them.
Party sources said some senior party members who include Bulawayo provincial spokesperson, Mr Felix Mafa Sibanda, Bulawayo Central MP Ms Dorcas Sibanda and Dr Bekithemba Mpofu, a close associate of MDC-T president Advocate Nelson Chamisa, were jostling to succeed Dr Khupe.
The source said Mr Sibanda made his intention clear on Saturday during the MDC Alliance rally at White City Stadium where he distributed flyers to drum up support for his candidature. “While Mafa made it very clear that he wants to become the party’s deputy president, Dorcas and Dr Mpofu are also angling for the post,” said the source.
Mr Sibanda could not outrightly confirm if he was vying for the party’s deputy president post only stating that some people had nicodemously thrown his name into the ring.
“I have seen my name being thrown here and there and I’m surprised that some people have thrown my hat into the ring without my knowledge. I don’t know now whether they are genuine people or my adversaries because I don’t know these people. I have not been consulted and it becomes very difficult to know who these people are. They should have consulted me first,” said Mr Sibanda.
Ms Sibanda outrightly dismissed claims linking her to the post, saying she had not made her decision.
Dr Mpofu, who is based in South Africa, could not be reached for comment.
“These are just rumours being peddled by people who are lying but I have not made my decision on it. It’s not even time for congress for people to express their intentions,” said Ms Sibanda.
Bulawayo youth assembly chairperson Mr Mlandu Ncube said he was aware that there were some party members who were now jostling to succeed Dr Khupe.
“This is disturbing the smooth running of the party. Party members should stop jostling for positions as the party has not given the go ahead to do so. We kindly ask them to behave or we will take action. We are focused on campaigning for the party, we don’t want any distractions,” said Mr Ncube.
Acting MDC-T spokesperson, Ms Thabitha Khumalo, said those who were angling to succeed Dr Khupe were wasting their time in campaigning for the post.
She said Dr Khupe’s replacement was a perogative of the national council, the party’s highest decision making body in between congress. “That there is a vacant post and that people are vying for it, I don’t know because that has not been allowed by the party. Anyone who is doing that is violating the constitution,” said Ms Khumalo.
“The constitution is very clear about what should be done to those positions. The national council and the president will appoint whoever they will want to appoint. There is no need for individuals to be campaigning, what will they be campaigning for?”