INFIGHTING and political gamesmanship have ripped apart interim MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe’s party ahead of its planned extraordinary congress to choose a substantive successor for the opposition’s late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Khupe has already moved to charge her former close aide and party organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe, after the latter accused her of violating the party constitution and abusing party funds.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said the party’s national council had resolved to take disciplinary action against Bhebhe and Paul Gorekore for breaching the code of conduct of the party.
“Due to acts of indiscipline, destabilisation of the party and bringing the name of the party into disrepute by Mr Abednico Bhebhe and Mr Paul Gorekore, the leadership is hereby ordered to commence and pursue disciplinary action against the two in terms of the party constitution,” Mwonzora said.
“The national council was of the opinion that there were acts of indiscipline by Mr Gorekore and Mr Bhebhe, but we resolved that the two will be dealt with in terms of our constitution, how that is going to come out will be seen in the next few days,” Mwonzora said.
He added: “We denounce and totally reject the calls by members of the MDC Alliance and G40 to come to the congress for purposes of electing our substantive leader.”
Bhebhe last week filed a damning affidavit at the High Court, accusing Khupe, Mwonzora and acting chairperson Morgen Komichi of failing to hold national executive and national council meetings in accordance with the party constitution.
He also said the trio, who are all eyeing the presidency, had created new party structures, further violating the principles of the party.
Highly-placed sources said Khupe had flushed out more than two-thirds of MDC-T members who were in the 2014 national council as she seeks to ring-fence her position at the helm of the party.
Khupe is also reportedly aware that any move to convene the national council would spectacularly backfire because she does not have the support of party structures.
“They are aware that a national council will stop them in their tracks and possibly put them to a disciplinary hearing for usurping the powers of council. They have avoided calling for the meeting of legitimate structures of the council,” said a party insider.