THE Citizens for Coalition Change (CCC) could be faced with another downfall amid reports that talks on the readmission of Dr Thokozani Khupe into the party are threatening to split the opposition in Bulawayo.
Sources said that interim national chairperson Ms Thabitha Khumalo is leading a group which has vowed that they do not want to see Dr Khupe in the party as she was the architect of the recalls in Parliament and council that triggered most of the by-elections set for next Saturday.
However, it is understood that Dr Khupe, who last month announced that she was splitting from MDC-T led by Mr Douglas Mwonzora, was already angling for a position in the party.
She has already reportedly told her supporters to vote for CCC in Saturday’s by-elections as a way of trying to win the hearts of the party leadership.
But it is the said talks between Dr Khupe and Mr Chamisa have reportedly riled party members who view the former as a traitor after she played a lead role in recalling the greater chunk of MPs and councillors who had pledged their allegiance to Mr Chamisa.
Impeccable party sources revealed that talk of Dr Khupe’s possible re-admission into the party was being brokered by the CCC interim deputy president, Professor Welshman Ncube.
However, Ms Khumalo and her group are reportedly adamant that they will not allow her admission into the party.
“During the CCC rally at White City Stadium a fortnight ago, Dr Khupe was expected to make an appearance after she held talks with Nelson Chamisa, Prof Ncube and other senior party members prior to the rally.
“However, these plans were later scrapped after some of the senior members expressed reservation on her readmission into the party.
“Some of the party members, especially the national chairperson, have made it clear that they are not prepared to work with Dr Khupe after the manner she recalled them and cast them out of the MDC-Alliance,” said the party source.
Contacted for comment, Dr Khupe’s spokesperson Mr Ntandoyenkosi Ndlovu said the former Deputy Prime Minister had made her stance clear that she was backing the CCC.
He did not confirm nor deny reports of talks between Dr Khupe and Mr Chamisa, claiming he had not been briefed.
“Dr Khupe is indeed urging all MDC-T members, supporters and the general public at large to turn out in their numbers and vote for the CCC in next (this) week’s by-elections.
“This is an unconditional endorsement because we believe CCC is a new movement with no burden of the past.
“However, I have not been briefed of any talks between Dr Khupe and Advocate Chamisa,” said Mr Ndlovu.
On reports that Dr Khupe was meant to be at the CCC rally in Bulawayo a couple of weeks ago, Mr Ndlovu said she had no such plans as on the day in question she was out of the country.
Since the death of the then MDC-T president, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, Dr Khupe and Mr Chamisa have fought for the control of the opposition party.
That saw Dr Khupe win a court battle, declaring her the leader of the party. She then moved to recall a number of legislators and councillors who refused to recognise her as the party leader.
After her loss in the party’s internal elections to Mr Mwonzora she declared the process as illegitimate, and later announced the split of the party once again, with her as the leader of the other faction.
— Sunday News