MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora suffered major embarrassment on Tuesday after his bitter rival Thokozani Khupe snubbed a highly-publicized joint press conference where the two were supposed to project a united force.
Khupe stayed away and issues a statement later saying she still does not recognize Mwonzora’s leadership.
The two went to war in December after the party’s court-ordered extraordinary congress that saw Mwonzora take the reins from Khupe, who disputed the outcome alleging violence and voter fraud.
Mwonzora tried in vain to pacify Khupe with an appointment as his first deputy.
“I can confirm that I met with Senator Douglas Mwonzora in Harare on 18 February 2021 for the first time since 27 December 2020 Extraordinary congress,” Khupe said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“The following issues were discussed: Violence, illegitimate voters’ roll as well as inquorate EOC [extra-ordinary congress] among others.
“Illegal appointments of standing committees which are a violation of the party constitution,” said Khupe.
She also argued that a national council meeting that changed the party constitution on February 6 to accommodate Elias Mudzuri as Mwonzora’s second deputy had no such mandate.
“My absence in today’s press conference held at MRT was informed by the need to address the aforementioned important issues to enhance the smooth running of our great movement, MDC-T,” Khupe added.
Mwonzora put up a brave face at the news conference, telling journalists that, “Dr. Khupe is on her way and is working with us.”
The MDC-T was forced to hold an extra-ordinary congress after the Supreme Court ruled that Nelson Chamisa’s leadership was “illegitimate.”