MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday drew large crowds at his rally in Murewa yesterday where he defended the decision to fire the party’s former vice president Thokozani Khupe and two other senior officials.
Murewa Centre was a sea of red as thousands of MDC supporters, majority who were bused from Harare, swamped the usually quiet growth point.
“We once came here with the president (the late Morgan Tsvangirai) but the crowd has grown bigger than before, it shows the party is growing,” Chamisa said.
Yesterday’s rally went without any incident.
Chamisa, who arrived at the venue with an elaborate escort from his party, said Khupe had become a form of an “ancestral spirit who could pop out at anytime.”
He said it was now time for leaders to put forward their ideas as opposed to their personalities.
Khupe was on Friday fired together with former national spokesman Obert Gutu and organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe.
This followed the party’s national council meeting which lasted several hours.
Khupe – who was accused of defying party orders – had been given extended deadline to end her squabble with Chamisa, whom she has refused to accept as the bona fide successor to the late party leader, Tsvangirai.
The firing of Khupe, Gutu and Bhebhe, followed the resignation of the MDC chairman Lovemore Moyo who quit the party last week over its squabbles.
Chamisa promised to improve the economy, implement devolution, among other issues, in the event of forming the next government.
Speaking at yesterday’s rally, MDC Alliance partner Tendai Biti, who leads the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said they will never again allow Zanu-PF to treat Mashonaland East as its private property.
“We are making a statement to Zanu-PF that this will never be the private property of Zanu-PF again. It ended in 2013, it ended with Mugabe, this is now a liberated zone,” Biti said.
Chamisa will likely contest President Emmerson Mnangagwa as both the MDC Alliance and MDC leader in elections which for the first time in nearly two decades, won’t feature both former president Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
Analysts have said a united opposition stands a better chance of finally bringing to an end Zanu-PF’s long rule.
Zimbabweans go to the polls in less than six months’ time.
Mnangagwa, who came to power via a military assisted intervention in November last year, is completing the remainder of Mugabe’s five-year term which expires in about four months’ time.