Suspended Movement for Democratic Change vice president, Thokozani Khupe, says the party has officially split as party president Douglas Mwonzora is no longer in the opposition formation.
Addressing a press conference in Bulawayo today, Khupe said she has decided to lead the MDC-T “because the party constitution has been shredded by Mwonzora and his cabal.”
The former Zimbabwean prime minister said Mwonzora “can declare himself leader of another faction of the party or any other since he is no longer the leader of the MDC-T.”
She said, “The MDC-T is a social democratic party that was founded on values of constitutionalism. It is a party that operates under the dictates of the constitution. The sad reality is that this constitution has been mutilated and shredded into pieces for times without number by those who are supposed to uphold and defend it. Article 9.1.2a enjoins the president to uphold the party’s constitution. It therefore follows that the president cannot be at the center of constitutional transgressions. Douglas Togarasei Mwonzora has for times without number violated the constitution of the party during his term as president of the party. Mwonzora is an illegitimate president who is a product of a rigged extraordinary congress which did not form a quorum in terms of Article 6.2.7 of the constitution.”
She further said Mwonzora expelled himself from the MDC-T after he wrote a letter to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) informing it that he is the new leader of the MDC Alliance, which was formed by a coalition of opposition parties.
“This is a completely new and different party. In addition to this, Mwonzora has already notified ZEC that he will contest the upcoming elections under the MDC Alliance party. In so doing, Mwonzora has fired himself because in terms of the MDC-T constitution Article 5.10a membership of the party shall be terminated if a member joins or supports a political party other than the MDC-T. Termination of membership in these circumstances is automatic.”
Khupe said Mwonzora used the same constitutional clause to recall some councilors and parliamentarians who aligned themselves to the MDC Alliance.
“I would like to substantiate this, by alluding to the fact that Mwonzora recalled several MPs and councilors because they were members of the Alliance and recently recalled Josiah Makombe (Gweru councilor) because he was said to be a member of the Alliance and therefore he had ceased to be an MDC-T member. This is a clear indication that Douglas Togarasei Mwonzora is no longer an MDC-T member,” she said, amid applause from the crowd at McDonald Square in Bulawayo’s Makokoba high density suburb.
She said with all these transgressions, Mwonzora cannot continue at the helm of the party.
“As deputy president I played my part in advising him in terms of my constitutional role in Article 9.2.1 which clearly states that it shall be the duty of the deputy president to assist the president in exercising his or her powers, functions and administrative as provided for in the constitution. Ladies and gentlemen, honorable MDC-T members it is in this vein that today the 21st day of January, the year of our Lord 2022 we who are gathered here and many others scattered around the country who could not make it to this important event declare an official split of our beloved party the Movement for Democratic Change party MDC-T.
"This day the 21st January the year of our Lord 2022 I announce that there are now two MDC-T formations, one led by yourstruly Dr. Thokozani Khupe who is also leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and the other. I don’t know who their leader is because they have got their so-called Congress on the 5th of March. We are announcing this with a heavy heart because this is not what we wanted by circumstances beyond our control have forced us to do this. This marriage is irreconcilable as we have a group that is determined to violate and mutilate the party constitution every step of the way and a group that is always guided by the dictates of the constitution and as a leadership that always upholds and defends the constitution.”
But MDC-T information and publicity secretary, Witness Dube, said Khupe “is day dreaming as she has been suspended from the party. She is too tired politically.”