EMBATTLED MDC-T Vice President Thokozani Khuphe has suffered rejection from her own Bulawayo province whose executive on Saturday affirmed support for co-VP and rival Nelson Chamisa.
Since party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to take a break from politics to concentrate on his long battle with colon cancer, the MDC-T has seen its three VPs scuffle for party control.
There are strong signs Tsvangirai may finally surrender his job as his health problems continue to mount.
His departure for treatment in South Africa has been followed by conflicting and often unconfirmed statements attributed to him regarding both his health condition and who among his three lieutenants should act on his behalf.
Matters came to a head this past week when Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka released a statement claiming his boss had appointed Chamisa as acting party President while also being party principal to the MDC Alliance.
This was vehemently disputed by co-VPs Khuphe’s and Elias Mudzuri’s camps with MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu also joining in to trash the claims.
The MDC-T leadership feud has, in the meantime, sucked in Alliance partners and lately party structures with the majority pledging support for Chamisa.
Khuphe, on her part, is adamant she is the only elected VP of the three and should deservedly become acting President.
Her bitter relations with colleagues date back longer than the current feud, having started at the time the party took a decision to forge a united front against Zanu PF.
Khuphe and allies insist they wield influence in the most important party support base of Matebeleland which has overwhelmingly voted MDC-T since formation in 1999.
But a statement released by MDC-T Bulawayo provincial executive spokesperson, Felix Magalela Mafa Sibanda on Saturday speaks to the contrary as it affirms support for Chamisa.