18 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Khupe, Chamisa Feud Turns Nasty

Photo: The Herald
Opposition leaders Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe (file photo).

The tension between MDC-T leaders Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe has escalated amid allegations the two are plotting to expel each other from the party.

Chamisa and Khupe have been fighting over the control of the MDC-T since the death of the party's founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai last month.

MDC-T sources said a meeting to be addressed by Khupe at Bulawayo's Amphitheatre today would push for Chamisa's expulsion on allegations of fanning violence, usurping power and violating the party constitution.

"The meeting is expected to endorse Khupe as party president, and also deal with Chamisa who has been violating the constitution and fanning violence in the party," the source said.

However, Khupe's personal assistant, Witness Dube, said his boss had no time to discuss Chamisa whom she did not recognise.

"Dr Khupe has no time to discuss Chamisa, but the meeting will be on Sunday [today] at the Amphitheatre and it will be attended by party structures," he said.

MDC-T organising secretary Abednego Bhebhe said they would use the meeting to prepare for the forthcoming elections.

"We are going for elections and this will be the ideal time to prepare, so this is what we will be doing," he said.

Bhebhe refused to comment on the presidential candidate they would be supporting during the meeting.

"Elections are not about the presidential candidate, there are councils, and House of Assembly, so we have to lay the ground for all those areas and that is what we will be doing," he said.

Suspended party spokesperson Obert Gutu vowed his faction was going for broke.

"All roads are leading to Bulawayo this Sunday," he said. "We are on a roll. Those that don't come will miss out! There is neither retreat nor surrender," he said.

Dube claimed the Chamisa faction was plotting to derail today's meeting.

"It comes as no surprise that the enemies of constitutionalism, democracy, rule of law and freedom of speech and association are making every effort to disturb this meeting," he said.

"Khupe wishes to advise all members and supporters to remain calm, resolute and focused to finishing strong."

Some MDC-T insiders said the Chamisa faction was also considering life without Khupe with indications that the party's chairman Lovemore Moyo, acting spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo and founding youth chairperson Bekithemba Mpofu were in the running to take her post.

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