OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe, her deputy Obert Gutu and party spokesperson Linda Masarira yesterday flew against the wind and attended President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration ceremony at the National Sports Stadium (NSS), saying the move was a sign of “patriotism”.
Khupe leads the other MDC-T faction which broke away from the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.
Khupe and Chamisa broke ranks soon after the death of their founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February this year after they haggled over the succession issue.
The two failed to agree on the way forward as Khupe claimed she was the bona fide leader, accusing Chamisa of trying to usurp power from her.
Khupe and her lieutenants were the only opposition officials at yesterday’s event. They did not receive a standing ovation and they were accommodated in the VVIP tent where Mnangagwa, his deputies and other regional leaders were camped.
They were specifically called to congratulate Mnangagwa and cheerfully did, raising speculation that the camp was trying to worm its way into Mnangagwa’s government.
In an interview, Gutu said their attendance was not a sign of desperation, but an act of “patriotism”.
“We want the country to move forward and soon after the elections president Khupe gave a speech to say that elections are over and some of us are busy straightening our party structures. Whatever we do or whatever we say, we should put Zimbabwe first and that is what drives us,” Gutu said.
“To start with we are not desperate, Khupe is not desperate and myself I am not desperate and we have been in government and Parliament before. This was just out of patriotism. We are not desperate at all,” he said.