MDC Alliance vice president Ms Lynette Karenyi has reportedly jumped ship and joined Dr Thokozani Khupe MDC-T after it emerged yesterday that she was in the latter’s WhatsApp chat group organising for a congress as directed by the courts.
The group, reportedly formed by Mr Douglas Mwonzora, also includes members of the standing committee of 2014 like Mr Abednigo Bhebhe, a key ally of Dr Khupe and about eleven more MDC Alliance senior members who have reportedly moved to Dr Khupe.
Some MDC Alliance legislators are reportedly asking to be added into another group also created by Mr Mwonzora.
Dr Khupe became MDC-T interim leader after the Supreme Court upheld a ruling of the High Court nullifying the appointment of Mr Nelson Chamisa (now MDC Alliance leader) and Engineer Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents by late party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in 2016.
The court also ordered that the party reverts to the 2014 structures and prepare for a congress.
The development is a blow to Mr Chamisa who is facing a rebellion from his legislators over the party’s calls for the parliamentarians to disengage for parliamentary activities.
The party announced its decision to “disengage” after Dr Khupe last week recalled Kuwadzana legislator Mr Charlton Hwende, Ms Tabitha Khumalo under proportional representation, Dangamvura legislator Mr Prosper Mutseyami and Senator Lillian Timveos, from Parliament.
On Tuesday, some MDC Alliance legislators attended a Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare parliamentary committee meeting, defying the party’s directive.
On Thursday, three legislators Ms Virginia Mafuta (proportional representative), Mr David Tekeshe (Makoni Central) and Ms Joyce Makonya (proportional representative) attended a sitting of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement. Sources within the party said legislators, especially in the Senate and under the proportional representation, like Ms Karenyi, are under pressure to join Dr Khupe as they fear being withdrawn from Parliament and replaced by her nominees.
In the group, which also includes Ms Paurina Mpariwa, members are discussing holding a meeting in Eastlea in the capital.
Ms Karenyi also suggests that information of the meeting should be sent to an Edith Hope Marionawo.
Ms Mpariwa complains about having a side pain and asks for prayers to which Ms Karenyi wishes her a speedy recovery and goes on to post scripture from Ephisians 4 verses 26 to 32.
Sources within the MDC Alliance said Ms Karenyi was confronted by the party’s national standing committee’s group.
“The issue was raised in the standing committee group and Karenyi was asked to explain what was happening. We understand she said the number in the Khupe chat group is registered under her but was stolen sometime ago and someone is now using it,” said the source.
Efforts to get a comment from Ms Karenyi were fruitless as her mobile rang without being answered.
Mr Mwonzora confirmed adding Ms Karenyi to the group which he said was created for all standing committee members of 2014 in fulfilment of the Supreme Court judgement.
“Yes, they are members of the standing committee that was reinstated by the Supreme Court unless of course they want to resign from it. People who are not members of the committee are those who were recalled principally because they made public pronouncements that they were now members of another political party that they called the MDC Alliance,” said Mr Mwonzora.