INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo has said he is confident of winning the Tsholotsho North constituency in by-elections set for June 10.
Prof Moyo was speaking after he successfully filed papers at the nomination court sitting in Bulawayo. He will face off against independent candidates Gertrude Sibanda and Busani Ncube.
Sibanda — a former MDC-T Matabeleland North provincial chairperson — was accompanied to the nomination court by MDC Renewal provincial chairperson, Sengezo Tshabangu.
She admitted that she was a member of MDC Renewal, and would use the party’s orange colours with a symbol of an orange fruit with an open palm.
Sibanda, who was seen with the former Tsholotsho North legislator Roselyn Nkomo — kicked out of Parliament after leaving the MDC-T to join MDC Renewal — said despite being an MDC Renewal member, she had filed papers as an independent candidate after the party took a position not to contest in 16 by-elections being held on the same day.
Ncube, on the other hand, said he had all along been an MDC-T member and decided to stand as an independent candidate after his party insisted on boycotting the June 10 by-elections.
Prof Moyo said he would defeat the independent candidates.
“I’m confident and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is confident,” he said after his papers were accepted. “I think that the community, not just in Tsholotsho North, but the whole of Tsholotsho, which includes Tsholotsho South, is also confident that Tsholotsho North which had been orphaned in July 2013 has finally come home.
“This is a case of a lost constituency being found and everyone concerned understands that it’s not about us as individuals, it’s not about me, it’s about the people and their development and it’s therefore about doing what is rational and what is meaningful to ensure that the development that the people of Tsholotsho need and deserve is pursued.
“There is no-one who doesn’t understand that it can only be pursued if there’s a functional link between the representatives of the people in Tsholotsho North and the Government. The people of Tsholotsho know only too well that its development cannot come from an opposition party, let alone an individual who calls himself of herself an independent. If you are an independent, they’ll ask you ‘independent from who?’ You can’t be independent of or from the people. You’ve got to be with the people.”
The only way of being with the people in Tsholotsho, Prof Moyo said, is to be Zanu-PF, “to be with the Government.”
He added: “Already, Tsholotsho South is represented by the people. We have a representative of the people in Tsholotsho South. Since it’s a community with two halves, it only makes sense that the other half is also represented by the people.
“It’s not about me but the people and this is why I, along with the people, are very confident not only that we will reclaim the orphaned constituency, but that we’ll do so with telling numbers.”
Asked to comment about his opponents, Prof Moyo — who lost by 200 votes in the July 2013 elections to Nkomo — said: “I didn’t see any opponent.”
He said the people of Tsholotsho North needed representation that would work hard to reduce poverty, deliver social services and improve food security in the face of the drought, due to poor rainfall in the last agricultural season.
“They had someone who won by accident and found herself in Harare and 20 months later to call herself “ubhare we Tsholotsho” because she couldn’t say even one word representing the people of Tsholotsho,” he said.
“They need a representative; they’re entitled to having an effective representative. We’re committed, we want that representative. We have done it before very well and we would want to do it once again, equally very well.”
Ncube, from Mpisini area, has never been employed all his life and his only promise was to work with the people.
Sibanda, who left the MDC-T in 2013, said she wanted to assist school leavers, the disabled and increase the density of clinics and schools which she said were built far apart.