MDC-T hardliners are adamant that acting party president Thokozani Khupe should not be in the race to be the substantive president when the party holds an extra-ordinary congress (EOC) later this year, a report claims.
The fight for MDC-T presidency has taken a new turn amid reports of a plot to push out acting party leader Thokozani Khupe from the race because of her close association with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD).
Khupe’s MDC-T and several other fringe opposition parties are members of the Mnangagwa-initiated platform to resolve the country’s political contestations, but MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has sarcastically dismissed the platform as a “Zanu PF choir”.
Khupe has since threatened to take over Chamisa’s party on the strength of a recent Supreme Court ruling that recognised her as acting party president and ordered the warring factions to revert to the MDC-T structures of 2014.
Reinstated secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has reportedly started campaigning for the party presidency against two other contenders, Morgen Komichi and Gift Chimanikire.
Mwonzora is in charge of organising an extra-ordinary congress (EOC) to choose the MDC-T’s substantive executive.
An unnamed aide to Mwonzora told NewsDay that some people in the party do not want Khupe to remain acting president for the three months stipulated in a recent Supreme Court judgement. He said:
The structures are clear that Khupe can’t be our president because she is too compromised, she is seen as a Zanu PF project and they don’t even want her to remain acting president for three months, they want the EOC to be done faster.
Khupe has never been in the contention for MDC presidency, she was vice at (founding leader) Morgan (Tsvangirai)’s death, that entitled her to act pending EOC.
But it ended there. She has to be realistic. The moment is not hers.
Meanwhile, former MDC-T secretary-general Nixon Nyikadzino believes that Khupe does not stand a chance against Mwonzora. He said:
She has thrown herself to the wolves. They are using her to satisfy their own ends.
For instance, Komichi can’t claim to be a constitutionalist now, when he was the one who presided over the elevation of Chamisa to the position of president.
She has fired herself from our party and she is going to fall by the wayside in Mwonzora’s MDC, it’s a dog eat dog affair.