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MDC-T Meeting Aborted As Khupe, Allies Confront Tsvangirai Over VP Appointments

Zimbabwe Prime Minister and Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai (L) and National Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa present a booklet at the launch of Conditions for a Sustainable Election in Zimbabwe (COSEZ) in Harare, March 8

A Standing Committee meeting of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai was abandoned prematurely Wednesday after the party’s vice president Thokozani Khuphe confronted her boss over his appointments of Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as his additional deputies.

Sources say Miss. Khupe raised a point of order as the meeting was getting underway, and objected to the presence of both Mr. Chamisa and Mr. Mudzuri, who were controversially picked by the MDC-T leader a few weeks ago.

Khupe told Mr. Tsvangirai that his appointments were illegal as they violate the party constitution.

Other Standing Committee members joined in, and those for fought in Khupe’s corner include organizing secretary Abednico Bhebhe, secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, party chairman Lovemore Moyo, Lynnette Gore and party spokesman Obert Gutu.

Those who supported Tsvangirai are deputy treasurer Chalton Hwende, Amos Chibaya, deputy spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo and Murisi Zvizvai.

Morgan Komichi and Paurina Mupariwa remained neutral while Theresa Makone and Happymore Chidziva skipped the meeting.

After about 20 minutes of heated squabbling, Mr. Tsvangirai called off the meeting and refered it to the party’s National Council land National Executive.

One official, who attended the meeting, described it as the "shortest and most hostile" ever of all Standing Committee meetings the party has had.

For perspective Studio 7 reached political analyst Dr. Nkululeko Sibanda, who said the rejection of the new appointees is an indication that people are fed up with the old order in political parties and are now demanding that their voices should be heard.

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