THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T yesterday claimed that the ruling Zanu PF party had infiltrated its structures and was working with disgruntled opposition party members in order to foment discord within the top leadership.
by RICHARD CHIDZA
This comes amid reports that Tsvangirai’s deputy, Thokozani Khupe, was facing the axe for allegedly fuelling divisions within the opposition party.
“The beleaguered and faction-ridden Zanu PF regime is always scheming and plotting to cripple the operations of the MDC-T. However, the MDC-T will never be collapsed by the nefarious and wicked machinations of these desperate detractors,” MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said.
A party insider who declined to be named added: “We are aware of a plot to soil the image of the party’s senior leaders, including the vice-president as a way of weakening the MDC-T. Khupe has specifically been targeted because of her perceived allegiance to Tsvangirai.
“They are trying to use the disagreements over participation in the by-elections as a way of finding favour with Tsvangirai after the fall-out ahead of congress last year. It is a group of people who lost at congress, including those who wanted the dual vice-presidency.”
The MDC-T official added: “It is known that this faction is being funded by Zanu PF to weaken the party ahead of the 2018 elections. (Vice-President Emmerson) Mnangagwa, is certain to be a Zanu PF candidate and he is terrified of Tsvangirai, hence he has infiltrated the party and funding an internal insurrection.”
Khupe was not available for comment yesterday as she was reportedly in South Africa.
A few weeks ago, Khupe said she was aware of the alleged plot, but vowed to resist the machinations.Two weeks ago, a group of MDC-T women demonstrated against Khupe at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in central Harare as the national council met to decide on whether to participate in the June 10 by-elections.
Khupe allegedly wanted the party to participate in order to retain its lost seats which fell vacant after 21 legislators defected to MDC Renewal Team and were eventually expelled from Parliament.
The opposition party has split twice since formation, first in 2005 over participation in senatoral elections and last year over Tsvangirai’s leadership style.