Sunday, February 09, 2014


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Following primary elections held in Bulawayo over the weekend, allegations have surfaced about a plan to prevent white MDC-T members from making it past the internal selection process.

Sources close to the process reported 'serious vote rigging' in the Bulawayo Central Constituency, where party heavy weight Dorcas Sibanda, was pitted against Nicola Watson (Watson lost the primary election). Watson and Eddie Cross are the only two white people in the MDC-T Bulawayo structures, occupying the position of provincial treasurer and policy director respectively. Bulawayo-based SW Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said there are indications that people from outside the constituency were brought in to vote in order to prevent a possible Watson victory.

Saungweme said this was not the first time that allegations of racism have been raised within the Bulawayo province. Watson had quit the united MDC citing racial discrimination, before being invited back by the MDC-T.

"Leading up to the primary election supporters of Dorcas Sibanda, led by Sethekeli Moyo, told the state controlled Chronicle newspaper that they did not want white people occupying parliamentary positions.

"We do not want this white woman. She has been imposed by party leaders.These are the people that we fought to remove in the liberation struggle and the party is returning them," Sethekeli Moyo told the Chronicle.

Following the incessant racial taunts against Watson, Bulawayo deputy mayor Amen Mpofu convened a residents' meeting where he warned the party against making racist remarks, reports say.

"During the weekend primaries, Watson and her supporters were openly told to go and get their vote in England, by Sibanda's supporters," Saungweme said.

But when the media campaign against Watson started in early June, MDC-T national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora disowned the group that stormed the Chronicle offices to denounce her."They are not from our party. I have spoken to Honourable Sibanda and she says none of her supporters went to the Chronicle. It is also not true that the party is trying to push her out from her seat. She has not lost it yet as she might win the primary election," Mwonzora told the state media.

It has also emerged that another white person, Mike Carter, had put his name forward expressing a wish to stand for a senatorial seat but was disappointed to find that his name had been removed from that particular list and added to that of council candidates.

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