THE fallout between MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokozani Khupe took a nasty turn on Saturday when rival party supporters clashed at Luveve Stadium in Bulawayo, forcing the opposition leader to cancel his planned campaign rally.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Tsvangirai and Khupe camps are sharply divided over the party’s decision to boycott the June 10 parliamentary by-elections throughout the country.
Khupe, who is believed to be opposed to the boycott, is alleged to have sponsored some Bulawayo party members to contest the by-elections as independent candidates as a protest move.
The MDC-T leader was in Bulawayo to explain the party’s “no reform no elections” stance to the electorate. MDC-T insiders yesterday said Tsvangirai’s backers in the standing committee were now pressing for an emergency meeting to “deal” with perceived Khupe loyalist, Abednico Bhebhe, whom they accused of working to sabotage the rallies.
They accused the Khupe camp of mobilising against the rallies and buying alcohol for the youths to humiliate Tsvangirai.
“We have called for an emergency executive meeting soon to suspend Bhebhe because he is the organising secretary and is responsible for whatever happened.
“We also gather that they are supporting independent candidates in the by-elections,” said the source. “People are now tired of Bhebhe because he is a sellout, he can do anything to sell out. Remember he once went away with Welshman Ncube and dumped him by voting with us for the Speaker of Parliament’s post. We can’t trust him.”
Ahead of Tsvangirai’s rallies, Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo (MDC-T) had had her house attacked by suspected Khupe loyalists who accused her of mobilising for the rally.
“I was organising a road show to drum up support for our president’s rallies in Bulawayo when I learnt that my house was under siege from thugs.
“I strongly suspect that this attack is politically motivated,” Khumalo told an online publication. Both Khupe and Bhebhe were not reachable for comment yesterday, while MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu referred questions to Khumalo who was not picking her calls.