… as Thokozani Khupe accepts defeat
MDC-T Vice President Thokozani Khupe has given up her three-month fight against newly elected party boss Douglas Mwonzora following chaotic extraordinary congress (EOC), which left the opposition deeply divided.
At last December’s elective EOC, Khupe, now Vice President Elias Mudzuri and national chairperson Morgen Komichi; who were contesting for the presidency, lost the contest to Mwonzora in an election marred with violence.
The losers also felt aggrieved and walked out in protest accusing Mwonzora of rigging the election and looting the party’s financial coffers.
However, in January, Mwonzora offered the three losing officials an olive branch and appointed Khupe as the first VP, Mudzuri second VP and Komichi as the national chairperson.
But, Khupe declined the offer insisting she did not recognise Mwonzora as the MDC-T president. The former deputy prime minister in the now defunct inclusive government, demanded the opposition party should hold fresh elections as the outcome of the December elections had been rigged and was marred with violence.
Efforts by Mwonzora to engage Khupe in the past three months were fruitless as she insisted on fresh elections.
However, this week, the MDC-T confirmed Khupe had finally accepted Mwonzora’s offer for the first VP’s post.
MDC-T spokesperson, Witness Dube confirmed the latest developments to NewZimbabwe Wednesday adding the post extraordinary congress fights were now “water under the bridge”.
“We also know that was a heat of the moment disputation which she did not follow through within the organs of the party or through the courts of law. It is well, all that ends well,” Dube said.
The spokesperson also tried to downplay the conflict between Mwonzora and Khupe saying the VP was not readily available to take the offer as she had tested Covid-19 positive soon after the congress.
“Dr Khupe was affected by Covid after the EOC, and that is the only known reason why she had not attended any party meetings up to yesterday (Tuesday). (However), whatever was her position regarding the EOC is now water under the bridge.”
However, Dube’s claims are deceptive as last month Khupe confirmed meeting with Mwonzora and raising her concerns including what she viewed as illegal Standing Committee appointments.
“I can confirm that I met with Sen. Douglas Mwonzora in Harare on 18 February 2021 for the first time since 27 December 2020 extraordinary congress. The following issues were discussed:1. Violence, illegitimate voters roll as well as inquorate EOC among others,” Khupe said last month.
She added; “That the National Council held on 6 February 2021 had no mandate to alter or amend the constitution. My absence in today’s press conference held at MRT (Morgan Richard Tsvangirai) House was informed by the need to address the aforementioned important issues to enhance smooth running of our great movement, MDC-T.”