MDC-T leader interim leader Thokozani Khupe and embattled MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa have increasingly demonstrated their lack of capacity to heal their warring party’s rifts, and to give direction to their followers as the crucial 2023 elections beckon.
This comes after the Senate announced the recall of eight senators from Parliament on Wednesday.
The recalled senators are Meliwe Phuthi (Matabeleland South), Helen Zivira (Bulawayo), Siphiwe Ncube (Bulawayo), Phyllis Ndlovu (Matabeleland North), Keresencia Chabuka (Manicaland), Herbert Sinampande (Matabeleland North), Gideon Shoko (Bulawayo) and Tapfumanei Wunganayi (Mashonaland East).
Khupe and Chamisa have been involved in a fierce tussle for control of the country’s main opposition party since the death of its much-loved founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai, from colon cancer in February 2018.
The senseless infighting went a notch up following the March Supreme Court’s judgment which upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court which nullified Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the party.
The court conferred the party leadership to Khupe and also directed that the MDC reverts to its 2014 structures, in addition to holding an extraordinary congress to elect Tsvangirai’s substantive successor.
Last month, Chamisa’s faction suffered a setback in its bid to bar Khupe from recalling party legislators from Parliament.
Then, High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled that Chamisa’s team was improperly before the courts, as the MDC Alliance was not a juristic person that was capable of suing or being sued.
That ruling paved the way for Khupe to recall nine more legislators last week, after she had successfully recalled four others earlier – including the MDC Alliance’s leader in Parliament Tabitha Khumalo, national assembly and Senate chief whips Prosper Mutseyami and Lilian Timveos respectively, as well as Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East).
The nine MPs that were recalled last week were Amos Chibaya (Mkoba), Happymore Chidziva (Highfield West), proportional representatives Bacilia Majaya, Mucharairwa Mugidho, Virginia Muradzikwa, Anna Muyambo, Francesca Ncube, Nomathemba Ndlovu and Murisi Zwizwai (Harare Central).
This also comes after High Court judge, Justice David Mangota, recently dismissed petitions by Chamisa’s MDC faction to repossess Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, formerly Harvest House – meaning that Khupe and her allies are now officially the legitimate occupants of the iconic building.
Meanwhile, Khupe moved on Wednesday to further weaken Chamisa when she barred 1 050 party delegates said to be sympathetic to her rival from attending the planned extraordinary congress – saying they were bent on fomenting violence on the day.