Zimbabwe’s leader of the opposition in parliament, Thokozani Khupe, says she has been recalled from the House of Assembly by Douglas Mwonzora’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) following squabbles over the control of the party.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, Khupe said she received a recall letter from parliament last week “from the Speaker through a courier, FedEx which was delivered to my house in Bulawayo together with my colleague Nomvula Mguni.”
Khupe, who dumped Mwonzora two weeks ago and indicated that she is the new leader of a faction of the MDC-T, said Mwonzora has no legal authority to recall her.
“A split of the Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai occurred. This was a result of constitutional transgressions. Douglas Mwonzora has on times without number violated the constitution of the party whereas Article 9.1.2(a) enjoins the president to uphold and defend the party’s constitution. It therefore follows that the president cannot be at the center of the constitutional transgressions.
“At the same time, Douglas Mwonzora declared that he is now leader of the MDC Alliance party. This is evidence that now we have two parties – MDC-T and MDC Alliance party hence the split. It was in this vein that I then wrote letters to the Speaker of Parliament and the Minister of Justice on the 24th of January, 2022, informing both institutions that the MDC-T party had split into two formations, one led by Dr. Thokozani Khupe who is also the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and one led by Douglas Mwonzora, leader of the opposition in the Senate and president of the MDC Alliance party.”
She said against this background, she appealed to the Speaker of Parliament and Ministry of Justice to treat the two formations equally and “exercise impartiality.”
Khupe said despite the appeal, she was recalled from parliament by Mwonzora, who she described as a leader of another party and not the MDC-T which she leads.
Mguni, who replaced Priscilla Misihairabwi as the proportional representation MP for Bulawayo, is Khupe's closest ally.
MDC-T secretary for information, Witness Dube, says Khupe "deserted the party and violated our constitution many times."
Dube claimed that Khupe boycotted many meetings chaired by Mwonzora "in the same manner she did when (Morgan) Tsvangirai was the leader of the party."
He noted that "some people tried to convince her to attend the meetings but failed to do so until she resurfaced in Bulawayo where she made ridiculous remarks about suspending Mwonzora and becoming the new leader of the MDC-T."
VOA correspondent Mlondolozi Ndlovu also contributed to this article