The MDC-T guardian council of elders is struggling to bring together the two warring camps tussling for control of the opposition party, as the groups led by Mr Nelson Chamisa and Dr Thokozani Khupe are preoccupied with defending and consolidating their turf, it has been learnt.
Dr Khupe recently implored the advisory body to intervene in the leadership dispute, as she felt that Mr Chamisa conveniently took advantage of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s demise to unconstitutionally wrestle the party leadership.
In an interview, guardian council of elders chairperson Mr Cephas Makuyana said they were still to reach out to the warring parties.
“We have made a request to talk to the parties, but as of now, we have not yet met them to hear their side of the story,” he said.
“We are still hopeful that we will meet them. As you know, the leadership has been engaged in several party meetings and activities related to the (MDC) Alliance.”
Though he confirmed receiving a letter of complaint from Dr Khupe, Mr Makuyana noted that there was need to gather information from both parties before charting the way forward.
“We can do very little if we have not gathered evidence from the parties,” he said.
“But we have since told them of our desire to meet them and (they) have agreed that they would create time for us.”
According to Mr Makuyana, had they met earlier, the intra-party violence that rocked Bulawayo at the weekend would not have happened.
Other members of the guardian council of elders include Chitungwiza Senator James Makore, former Chegutu executive mayor Mr Francis Dhlakama and Hwange East MP Mr Wesley Sansole.
Initially, though all the former co-vice presidents — Dr Khupe, Mr Chamisa and Engineer Elias Mudzuri — claimed to be the rightful interim leaders of the party when Mr Tsvangirai was ill, the MDC-T’s national executive and national council swiftly chose Mr Chamisa as the substantive president and presidential candidate for the forthcoming elections.
But Dr Khupe continues to dig in because the decision taken was against the party’s constitution.
Rowdy party youths recently tried to burn Dr Khupe and the party’s secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora and organising secretary, Mr Abednigo Bhebhe, in a hut at the late Mr Tsvangirai’s burial in Buhera.
Events took a nasty turn at the weekend when blood clashes took place at the party’s offices in Bulawayo.
Several party activists were injured in graphic violent scenes that left a trail of destruction.
Dr Khupe’s Land Rover Discovery was extensively damaged, while her personal assistant Mr Witness Dube was caught up in the blood-letting clashes.