Khupe ‘to ditch Makokoba for Nkayi’

MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe is reportedly contemplating ditching her Makokoba constituency in Bulawayo for rural Nkayi deeming it a safe seat in the next elections, like many of her colleagues now running away from urban areas.
Khupe recently built a new homestead in Nkayi.
The deputy premier has been Makokoba MP since 2000 and saw off stiff challenges from Zanu PF’s Tshinga Dube and MDC leader Welshman Ncube in the 2008 harmonised polls. However, Khupe’s popularity in MDC-T structures in the constituency has been waning with members accusing her of dictatorship and neglecting the electorate.  This week 84 MDC-T members in the Makokoba constituency, including senior officials, defected to the rival MDC.
Last month Khupe shunned a rally in Makokoba where she was scheduled to give a keynote address only to surface at another rally in Siganda, Nkayi.
“Speculation around Khupe planning to stand in Nkayi has been doing the rounds since late last year,” said a party insider. “What is fuelling it is that she has not attempted to dispel the rumours. Khupe no longer commands support and respect compared to a few years ago and she knows that.”
As a result the MDC-T has proposed a system similar to Zanu PF to protect its presidium.
Contacted for comment Khupe denied the claims saying seeking a constituency in Nkayi would “destabilise the area as there is a candidate who is already campaigning there”. — Staff Writer.