MDC-T president Advocate Nelson Chamisa has threatened to expel party deputy president Dr Thokozani Khupe for her continued defiance to recognise him as the leader chosen by the party’s National Council.
Adv Chamisa and Dr Khupe have been locked in a battle for the party’s presidency following Morgan Tsvangirai’s death last month.
A defiant Dr Khupe who has been opposing Adv Chamisa’s assumption of power was reportedly given seven days’ ultimatum to support Adv Chamisa last week but the deadline has since expired.
Addressing party supporters during the MDC Alliance Matabeleland North rally in Cross Dete yesterday, Adv Chamisa said he was extending an olive branch to Dr Khupe but failure to heed the call might see her being forced out of the party.
The rally was attended by some party MPs from Matabeleland North and Bulawayo.
“But if we then fail to sort out our problems we are not going to force matters we are going to immediately allow the constitution to take its place to those who feel are not willing to be part of the great movement. They will be given an opportunity to leave. I’m going to talk to the leaders of the MDC-T so that all of them are aligned to the people’s will and constitution,” Adv Chamisa told the small crowd.
Adv Chamisa had said he was, however, still hopeful that Dr Khupe will eventually “see the light”.
“Madam Khupe and other leaders who were given the position of the party’s National Council were given an opportunity for dialogue so that they can be part of the party. However, the deadline expired two days ago and after that I spoke as the leader of the party that if you are a visionary you must not sponsor and promote divisions. So I’m taking this opportunity while I am in Matabeleland North to engage once again with Khupe,” said Adv Chamisa.
Speaking at the same rally MDC president and the Alliance’s spokesperson, Prof Welshman Ncube waded into the MDC-T succession saga arguing that the party followed the constitution when they elected Adv Chamisa as Tsvangirai’s successor.
“The person who was selected by Tsvangirai to finish the work he had started lawfully is this young man Chamisa. As someone who taught law when I speak about it I know what I’m talking about as after he was anointed by Tsvangarai the National Council went on to elect him as party leader. There are those that say if you are not elected at congress you are not legitimate, who calls for the congress? The National Council is the one that calls for congress there will be no congress unless called by the council,” he said.