MDC-T faction leader Thokozani Khupe finally takes her campaign to a potentially hostile Harare this weekend with signs the former party Vice President was only expecting a handful followers to attend her rally.
Khupe broke ranks with the mainstream MDC-T after she was caught up in a fierce tussle for control with the now-party leader Nelson Chamisa.
The power wrangle between the former MDC-T co-VPs was ignited by the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai February this year.
Since the time, Khupe has twice been targeted for physical attacks by suspected Chamisa followers who were angered by her refusal to accept the presidential contender’s controversial rise to the helm of the main opposition.
The former deputy prime minister, who insists she was the legitimate MDC-T leader, was recently forced to postpone her faction’s congress fearing violent clashes with supporters of Chamisa’s MDC Alliance who were attending a star rally at White City Stadium.
But Khupe will this weekend brave possible hostilities from rivals by holding a rally at Harare Show Grounds’ Mandela Hall.
While hoping her rally may pass without any incident, it is her decision to hold a rally inside a hall that betrays the opposition leader’s inner beliefs she was a small player compared to her MDC-T rival who continues to attract multitudes to his countrywide rallies.
MDC-T (Khupe) spokesperson Linda Masarira denied her boss was holding her rallies in halls.
“It is critically important to note that we are not yet having rallies. We are unpacking the manifesto to our provincial structures province by province that is why the event is dubbed ‘Game on B.E.S.T Harare’,” she said, adding that the party was set to hold similar events every Saturday in different provinces.
Masarira denied the MDC-T led by Khupe was a small party and that they were afraid of possible violent clashes with Chamisa’s followers.
“We are not a small party and we are not focusing on populism beyond deliverables. MDC-T led by Dr. Thokozani Khupe is a realistic party with smart ideas, strategies and plans to take Zimbabwe forward,” she said.
“We are not afraid of anyone and we do not expect such barbaric acts from our erstwhile brother Chamisa.
“If any violence occurs it will only damage the alliances reputation. Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy and every political party has the right to reach out to its members.”