THE MDC-T’s national council is tomorrow expected to seal the fate of the party’s defiant deputy president Thokozani Khupe who has refused to recognise the appointment of Nelson Chamisa as party president.
Indications are that the party might suspend or expel Khupe for continuously defying party resolutions, including conducting parallel campaign programmes after declaring herself bona fide MDC-T leader.
In an interview yesterday, party deputy chairman Morgen Komichi said a decision must be taken now following the expiry of an ultimatum for her return more than a week ago.
“Yes, the council will take a decision. It will consider the work that she has done between the time when the seven days (ultimatum) was given and now,” Komichi said.
“We will receive reports on what she has done and the declarations that she has made and I am sure the council will then make a decision.”
Senior MDC-T officials are vowing to push for Khupe’s expulsion for declaring herself acting president, contrary to the national council decision that endorsed Chamisa.
They told NewsDay that after Khupe, their next target would be the party’s secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, who stands accused of failing to communicate the decision to suspend the party’s spokesperson Obert Gutu.
Gutu has been a key figure on Khupe’s side.
There are also reports that negotiations between the warring MDC-T factions have collapsed.
Khupe’s personal assistant, Witness Dube, said there were no talks between his boss and Chamisa.
“Negotiations have irretrievably broken down because of the rigidity of proposals tabled by the Chamisa camp,” Dube said.
“Their insistence on forcing Dr Khupe to accept all their unconstitutional positions have affirmed that they are negotiating in bad faith, and as a political gimmick for reasons we are yet to establish.”
Dube said Khupe and Chamisa last communicated two weeks ago when the youthful MDC-T leader addressed an MDC Alliance campaign rally in Dete.
“There have been no emissaries and those claims are simply made to mischievously give an impression that Chamisa has tried his best and failed. It is simply a public relations exercise,” he said.
Political analyst, Phillan Moyo said there were fears that Khupe might field her candidates in certain constituencies, posing a threat for fielding multiple MDC-T candidates per particular area.
“The disunity and imminent split will obviously cost the MDC Alliance thousands of votes, especially in Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and North,” Moyo said.
“This is because Khupe has a significant following and sympathisers in these three provinces. The relatively good crowd that attended her rally at the Amphitheatre on Sunday is testimony of her level of popularity.”
He said the way forward for the MDC Alliance was to continue mobilising without Khupe as they had done with relative success thus far.
“But ultimately, if the alliance is to stand any chance of winning State power, or at the very least drastically reduce Zanu-PF’s parliamentary majority, then they must form a grand coalition with the People’s Rainbow Coalition,” Moyo said.