OPPOSITION MDC-T leader and former Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe will attend her former boss the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s memorial to be held in Buhera Saturday.
She will meet her rival, Nelson Chamisa for the first time since the main opposition’s fall-out last year.
It could signal an emotional for Khupe who was almost killed when a mob of party activists known as the Vanguard tried to torch a hut in which she and MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora had sought refuge at the height of the internal power struggle that followed Tsvangirai’s death last year.
Khupe’s MDC national chairperson, Abednico Bhebhe confirmed to NewZimbabwe that the party had been officially invited to the memorial and Khupe would attend.
“Yes she will be there. I am actually looking for fuel right now to travel to Buhera,” said Bhebhe.
Bhebhe, then MDC-T national organising secretary, was also in the same hut as Mwonzora and Khupe. The party was to split with Khupe and her group retaining the name MDC-T after a nasty legal wrangle.
Bhebhe warned they would not allow any rogue elements to push them around this time.
“This time around who ever comes to me, I will teach him a lesson,” he said.
Chamisa instituted an internal inquiry in which some youths were reported to have been condemned and expelled from the party.
However, no names were ever made public and there was no criminal prosecution of those behind the attack.
In the hours and days that followed Tsvangirai’s death, Chamisa railroaded the MDC national executive as well other key organs to gather and endorse his rise to power.
Khupe at the time argued she was the rightful heir to Tsvangirai’s throne because she was elected at congress in 2014 but had reacted too slow to Chamisa.
Along with another vice president Elias Mudzuri, Chamisa was appointed as one of Tsvangirai’s deputies in 2016, two years after the latter’s loss to Mwonzora in the acrimonious fight for the position of party secretary general in 2014.
Bhebhe said he supported the Tsvangirai family’s plea for those attending the memorial not to wear any party regalia at the memorial service.
“I support the Tsvangirai family‘s position that no one should wear party regalia at the memorial service. There is no need to politicise the memorial service because a memorial service is like a funeral where everybody is free to attend regardless of his or her social or political standing in society,” said Bhebhe.
Tsvangirai died on Valentines’s Day last year after a two year battle with colon cancer and was buried at his rural home in Buhera in Manicaland province.