HUNDREDS of MDC-T supporters in Plumtree’s Bulilima East constituency on Saturday reportedly staged a demonstration protesting alleged imposition of candidates, amid suspicions that the party wanted to impose former MDC MP Norman Mpofu as a candidate.
REPORT BY SILAS NKALA
Sources from Bulilima East said the primary elections were supposed to be held on the day, but did not take place in unclear circumstances, raising suspicion that the party planned to impose candidates.
“We were supposed to have primary elections to elect candidates to stand for the party in the council elections, but those elections were not held,” a source, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
“Hundreds of MDC-T Bulilima East supporters demonstrated at the venues of the elections.
“The general feeling and complaint is that party leaders are imposing candidates of their choice and people were saying ‘No’, to that.”
The demonstration took place at Matjinge business centre and Dingumuzi tennis court, where the primary elections were supposed to take place. MDC-T Matabeleland South provincial secretary Ready Ndlovu was present when the demonstrations took place.
The source said the general feeling was that leaders wanted to impose Mpofu as a candidate.
Mpofu was fired from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC together with Abednico Bhebhe and Njabuliso Mguni over their links with the MDC-T. Demonstrators were reportedly carrying placards written, “When are primary elections for MPs?”, “We need democracy”, “No imposition”, “We need our rights”, “Do not steal our rights in broad daylight”.
When contacted for comment yesterday Ndlovu confirmed he was at the venues, but said he was not at liberty to comment on the issues.
He referred Southern Eye to provincial chairman Watchy Sibanda. Sibanda confirmed that the demonstration took place, but played it down, saying it was not disturbing at all.
“We were supposed to have primary elections for councillors, but they were not conducted due to various logistical problems and the national leadership will then send us a new date to conduct them,” he said.
“Yes, there were demonstrations as you know that in organisations there are good and bad people. But it was not a serious issue.”
On the issue of parliamentary primary elections in Bulilima East, Sibanda said the province was advised to conduct primaries for councillors only.