MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairperson Gorden Moyo’s candidature in a constituency reserved for women has created controversy.
Report by Herbert Moyo
Moyo has been confirmed as the MDC-T candidate for Makokoba constituency in the next elections after he was nominated unchallenged.
The seat is currently held by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe.
The MDC-T resolved that all seats currently held by women would not be contested by men, but the party has seemingly gone against its own resolutions and controversially allowed Moyo to contest the seat.
Moyo refuted claims of controversy about his candidature in Makokoba saying the constituency was his “entry point into parliament and cabinet” where he serves as State Enterprises and Parastatals minister.
Moyo said there was nothing amiss as he has been “babysitting” the constituency ever since Khupe’s elevation to the post of deputy prime minister in line with the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by Zanu PF and the two MDC formations.
“The national executive and the national council approved my candidature last Wednesday,” said Moyo. “It is misguided to say Makokoba was ever reserved for women because I became the MP when Khupe was appointed deputy prime minister in line with the GPA in 2009.”
“When the GPA was signed, it was then agreed that vice-presidents and deputy prime ministers would all become members of parliament by virtue of their offices. This was designed to accommodate the likes of (John) Nkomo and (Arthur) Mutambara who were not MPs. It was further resolved that MDC-T appoint someone to replace Khupe in Makokoba so that the parties retained the balance of numbers they had obtained in the elections and that is how I came in,” said Moyo.
However, Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma has dismissed this claim, saying Moyo was appointed non-constituency MP in terms of paragraph 20.1.8 of schedule 8 of the constitution as amended by Amendment No. 19 which created the inclusive government and thereby not a legislator for Makokoba.
Zvoma said Khupe, not Moyo, remains MP for Makokoba, leaving the MDC-T in a quandary.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said the party had cleared Moyo to contest the Makokoba primaries because he was “appointed MP to replace Khupe who had assumed the post of deputy prime minister”.
“Moyo was a direct replacement for Khupe and for that reason we regard him as the sitting MP for Makokoba. Besides, he was the only one who applied to represent the party and there were no female challengers,” said Mwonzora.
Mwonzora also said the party would start holding primary elections next week.