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Khupe accused of ‘rigging’ after congress agents abandon election

The MDC-T’s Bulawayo province Extraordinary Congress nomination process was boycotted by its polling agents who accused the opposition leader Thokozani Khupe of massive electoral fraud.

MDC Vice President Thokozani Khupe
MDC-T President Thokozani Khupe

Khupe was installed as the opposition leader by a controversial Supreme Court ruling that declared “illegal” Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the party left by the late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died in 2018 after losing a battle to cancer.

The Supreme Court ordered the party to hold an Extraordinary Congress to elect a leader to succeed Tsvangirai. The MDC-T 2014 Bulawayo provincial council structures on Saturday held a provincial congress ahead of Extraordinary Congress to be held in December.

But delegates who attended the Bulawayo meeting during the weekend complained that the polling agents representing organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe; Elias Mudzuri; secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora and the party chairperson Morgan Komichi who are eying the presidential position walked out of the polling centre after realising that there were more ballots cast than the number of accredited delegates.

“All the four candidates’ agents walked out of the polling centre after realising that the votes cast were more than the official delegates. Only Khupe’s agents remained inside.

“When the presiding officers discovered that Bhebhe was leading the nomination, the counting was stopped,” a delegate said.

The delegates also accused the presiding officers who posted on social media that Khupe was a winner, of tampering with the voters roll. There were two voters rolls.

“There was the 2014 voters roll and the other one which was created to replace eligible delegates who were either expelled from the party and those who were not present at the meeting.

“This was electoral fraud because an extraordinary congress does not allow for gap filling of delegates.

“One of the presiding officers was Angliston Sibanda, a known Zanu PF apologist. Some of the genuine delegates were barred from entering the meeting by the presiding officers,” a delegate who refused to be named for fear of victimisation told NewZimbabwe.com.

In an interview, Bhebhe confirmed that the polling agents walked out of the nomination process.

“Yes, the nomination process was inconclusive. There were challenges which I think the party’s leadership will address,” said Bhebhe.

Khupe is a leader of the opposition in Parliament regardless of the fact that she was rejected by the electorate in the 2018 elections when she gunnered 40 000 votes against Chamisa’s 2,6 million.

She has already recalled more than 35 MDC Alliance MPs, senators and councillors accusing them of supporting Chamisa. Nehanda Radio