Congress agents abandon meeting over Khupe ‘rigging’

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

POLLING agents of MDC-T aspiring presidential candidates Saturday boycotted the Bulawayo province Extra Ordinary Congress nomination process citing massive electoral fraud.

The MDC-T 2014 Bulawayo provincial council structures Saturday held a provincial congress ahead of next month’s Extra Ordinary Congress ordered by the Supreme Court early this year.

The court declared as null and void, Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the MDC.

Chamisa now leads the MDC Alliance.

Delegates who attended the Bulawayo meeting accused party acting president Thokozani Khupe of trying to manipulate the outcome of the nomination process in her of favour.

Khupe; acting organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe; Elias Mudzuri; secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora and the party chairperson Morgan Komichi, are all vying for presidency.

The post fell vacant following the death of late party founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018.

According to delegates who attended the meeting which was held at the party’s provincial offices, polling agents representing Bhebhe, Mudzuri, Komichi and Mwonzora 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 vote 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,” said a source who attended the provincial congress.

After the other candidates boycotted the counting process, the presiding officers are said to have posted the results on social media declaring Khupe as the one nominated by the province.

The delegates also accused the presiding officers 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 extra ordinary congress does not allow for gap filling of delegates,” said a delegate who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

The delegates also accused the presiding officers of being partisan in favour of Khupe.

“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,” said another delegate.

When reached for comment, Bhebhe confirmed 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.

He recently accused Khupe and her colleagues of trying to manipulate the election process by dumping some people who were in the 2014 MDC structures which the court deemed were eligible to seek posts and vote at the congress.