Khupe dumped by longtime ally

Khupe dumped by longtime ally

Khupe and Abednico Bhebhe

INFIGHTING and political gamesmanship have ripped apart interim MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe party ahead of its planned extraordinary congress to choose a substantive successor for the opposition’s late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

MDC-T organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe has said he will not attend a “kangaroo” disciplinary hearing called on him by party secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora.

Bhebhe accused Mwonzora and other party leaders of being against anyone who spoke their mind.

“I will not attend such a disciplinary hearing being called through the media,” Bhebhe said.

“The person who did that knows what needs to be done in terms of the procedures and process when one is being called to appear for a disciplinary hearing, and I am sure that has not been done.

“The party leadership should not be afraid of being told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

Khupe has already moved to charge her former close aide and party organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe, after the latter accused her of violating the party constitution and abusing party funds.

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said the party’s national council had resolved to take disciplinary action against Bhebhe and Paul Gorekore for breaching the code of conduct of the party.

“Due to acts of indiscipline, destabilisation of the party and bringing the name of the party into disrepute by Mr Abednico Bhebhe and Mr Paul Gorekore, the leadership is hereby ordered to commence and pursue disciplinary action against the two in terms of the party constitution,” Mwonzora said.

“The national council was of the opinion that there were acts of indiscipline by Mr Gorekore and Mr Bhebhe, but we resolved that the two will be dealt with in terms of our constitution, how that is going to come out will be seen in the next few days,” Mwonzora said.

He added: “We denounce and totally reject the calls by members of the MDC Alliance and G40 to come to the congress for purposes of electing our substantive leader.”

Bhebhe appears to have angered the party leadership when he exposed the alleged financial rot within the opposition MDC-T.

This is after he filed Bhebhe filed a damning affidavit at the High Court last week, accusing Khupe, Mwonzora and acting chairperson Morgan Komichi of failing to hold national executive and national council meetings in accordance with the party constitution.

In his affidavit, Bhebhe said party funds totalling $7 million had been wiped out by acting party president Thokozani Khupe and national chairperson Morgen Komichi.

He also said the trio, who are all eying the presidency, had created new party structures, further violating the principles of the party.

Highly-placed sources said Khupe had flushed out more than two-thirds of MDC-T members who were in the 2014 national council as she seeks to ring-fence her position at the helm of the party.

Khupe is also reportedly aware that any move to convene the national council would spectacularly backfire because she does not have the support of party structures.

“They are aware that a national council will stop them in their tracks and possibly put them to a disciplinary hearing for usurping the powers of council. They have avoided calling for the meeting of legitimate structures of the council,” said a party insider.

He also told the court that he has also failed to convince Khupe and Komichi to organise a proper National Executive Committee meeting as per the party constitution.

Bhebhe went on to say Khupe had failed to adhere to the 30 March Supreme Court judgment which nullified the appointment of Nelson Chamisa as MDC-T leader and ordered the party to hold an extraordinary congress, using the 2014 structures.

He said both Khupe and Komichi are disregarding the MDC-T constitution, abusing the National Standing Committee to pass dubious decisions such as firing elected officials and members of the 2014 party
structures without due process.