THE MDC-T Bulawayo province on Saturday turned its back on deputy president, Thokozani Khupe, and declared its allegiance to acting party president Nelson Chamisa as internal fighting over Morgan Tsvangirai succession escalates.
This came as Khupe and co-vice-president Elias Mudzuri recently refused to recognise Chamisa’s recent appointment as acting MDC-T president.
MDC-T Bulawayo provincial spokesperson, Felix Magalela Sibanda on Saturday said the province stood solidly behind Chamisa, giving a major boost to the latter’s support base as the country’s second city has always been regarded as Khupe’s forte.
“The Bulawayo provincial executive and all its subordinate structures hereby this day, of 10th February 2018, affirms and confirms the appointment of Hon. Nelson Chamisa as the effective acting president of the Movement of the Democratic Change, (MDCT) henceforth.
“We as the executive of the same province are extremely excited and are on cloud 7 because this appointment to navigate the MDC ship to the end of its voyage it started in earnest 1999,” he said in a statement.
“We therefore, applaud president Tsvangirai for his star appointment. We therefore, pledge our unwavering support to vice president, Chamisa and the entire MDCT leadership from branches to the national council.”
But, Khupe who of late has been challenging Chamisa’s appointment as acting party president, yesterday described the move by the party’s Bulawayo provincial executive as a circus.
Khupe’s personal assistant, Witness Dube, said the circus in the party could best be solved by a return to constitutionalism.
“Khupe’s views on the on-going misunderstandings in the MDC-T that are now playing out in the public are very clear and consistent; the party must return to a strict constitutional operational basis. Constitutions are made for posterity, and must not be overtaken by events or individual interests,” Dube said,
The infighting over the MDC-T leadership dispute comes at a time when the party was divided over the formation of the MDC Alliance. Khupe and allies were opposed to the MDC Alliance, a grouping of seven opposition parties that was already campaigning in preparation of the general elections set for the next few months.
The fights escalated in the past few months following reports that Tsvangirai, who is battling colon cancer, was deteriorating.
On Wednesday, Khupe posted a message on her Twitter handle, saying she was the rightful heir to Tsvangirai’s post by virtue of her election at the party’s congress in 2014. Mudzuri and Chamisa were appointed by Tsvangirai soon after the congress.
“Three consecutive MDC T congresses have elected yours truly as deputy president to president @mrtsvangirai and other officers primarily to avoid a leadership vacuum at such an eventuality and to shut out any threat that may be artificially created by those with hidden agendas,” Khupe twitted.