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Turmoil in Zimbabwe's Opposition MDC-T Devastates Local, International Provinces


Thokozani Khupe addressing a press conference in Bulawayo on Friday, 01/21/22. (Photo: Bathabile Masuku)

The battle for the control of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) continues with local and international branches of the party taking center stage in a fight pitting expelled vice president, Thokozani Khupe, and party leader Douglas Mwonzora.

Khupe declared on Friday that she is the new president of the MDC-T claiming that Mwonzora expelled himself when he declared that he was the leader of the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.

The fight between the two party leaders has drawn in most of the provinces that are declaring alliance to either Khupe or Mwonzora in which appears to be an all out tussle for the control of the opposition group.

The MDC-USA province says Khupe is expected to start revamping the party structures, which have been allegedly dismantled by Mwonzora.

In a statement, provincial chairperson, Den Moyo, said they stand by the principles of the party in correcting problems caused by Mwonzora and his group in the last extraordinary congress.

“As MDC-USA, we have always stuck to our democratic values and principles without fear or favor. We speak truth to power and have over time refused to kowtow to individuals. Provincial Solidarity statements are a form of subjugation in my opinion. Everybody who cares to know already knows where we stand. We don't have to issue solidarity statements to prove what we believe in. We should continue with our brand of politics that respects the party constitution.”

Moyo said when Nelson Chamisa “hijacked the party we stood firm and resilient, we condemned mobocracy. When Mwonzora declared himself president amid shenanigans at the Dec 2020 EOC, we once again condemned the unconstitutionality of the EOC (Exra-ordinary Congress).

“So we are basically back to square one. Dr. Khupe has a duty to build the party structures, hold a free and fair ordinary congress where every party member has a right to contest whatever party position they want. There should be no sacred cows. We shall remain MDC-USA that does not kowtow to individuals but remains guided by the sacrosanct party constitution.”

The Matabeleland North provincial executive also pleaded their support for Khupe, noting that her take over of the party was long overdue.

In a statement signed by the party’s secretary and chairperson, the provincial party executive said Khupe’s move was “long overdue considering the rate at which as a party we were drifting away from our values that are enshrined in the constitution.”

The provincial executive added that “with this development we hope all the confusion which was now the order of the day in our party will be a thing of the past. We have all the hope and trust in Khupe’s leadership capabilities and qualities. We welcome your president.”

There seems to be confusion in the South Africa provincial executive, which initially endorsed Khupe’s move but has now reversed its decision saying a statement attributed to the province was falsified by one aggrieved individual.

Information secretary, Eliah Marume, said the MDC-South Africa province “stands by president Mwonzora unreservedly.”

Murume said, “The province has noted with grave concern the abuse of the MDC-T name and symbols by the suspended vice president Thokozani Khupe and her renegades at an event held in Bulawayo on the 21st January, 2022, where she claimed to be a leader of a faction of the MDC-T. She has been touted as a “president” of the MDC-T by some malcontents in some parts of Johannesburg in South Africa.

“The MDC-T would like to thank president Mwonzora and his team for suspending vice president Thokozani Khupe. It however feels the suspension of expulsion was long overdue as her shenanigans have been detrimental to the party’s agenda since the days of president Morgan Tsvangirai.”

The Matabeleland South provincial executive is singing the same song, noting that some mischievous people endorsed Khupe’s declaration on Friday that she was the new leader of the opposition party.

Provincial chairperson, Ekem Moyo, said, “…We are fully behind the suspension of the Honorable Thokozani Khupe from the position of vice president” pending her appearance before the party’s Arbiter.

Moyo said they are backing Mwonzora who was elected “overwhelmingly” in the party’s Exra-ordinary congress.

“In the same vein we also wish to state for the record that provincial members Younger Moyo and Bekezela Maplanka who attended the so-called Khupe presser which was not sanctioned by the party did so at their own agency without the mandate of the province nor the structures of the party in the province.”

Mwonzora was elected in an Extra-ordinary congress which was described by some members and observers as a shame due to alleged widespread electoral fraud.

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