MDC-T vice-president, Thokozani Khupe and her allies, chairman, Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe, are reportedly plotting to boycott party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s planned MDC Alliance launch in Bulawayo on Saturday over security concerns.
By Nqobani Ndlovu
The trio recently wrote to Tsvangirai requesting he postpones the Saturday event to allow for further consultations on thorny issues surrounding the signing of the coalition deal, but the MDC-T leader has vowed to disregard the request and go ahead with the launch.
Moyo was yesterday coy on whether they would attend the event, saying: “We will cross the bridge when we get there.
“We hope that we will have a conversation before that Saturday thing, that so-called launch and MDC Alliance rally.”
Moyo told Southern Eye that efforts were currently underway to ensure dialogue with Tsvangirai takes place before Saturday to iron out their differences on the MDC Alliance agreement.
The three have expressed misgivings over some conditions of the coalition agreement with other opposition parties, particularly on the distribution of parliamentary seats in Matabeleland and Bulawayo.
Party insiders said Khupe, Moyo and Bhebhe were wary of attending the MDC Alliance rally fearing for their safety over their differences with Tsvangirai.
Party youth members allegedly assaulted the three in Bulawayo for boycotting the alliance’s first launch in Harare three weeks ago.
“Our position is that we need to discuss serious omissions and issues as we have stated in that particular correspondence to the president,” Moyo said.
“Once we have done that, the way forward will be clear.
“So far, I know that efforts are being made to have a meeting with the leadership.
“Efforts are being made by the party and the office of the president to have a meeting.”
On Tuesday, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said the former Prime Minister would not negotiate with Khupe, Bhebhe and Moyo through the media.
“President Tsvangirai does not speak to or about senior party officials through newspapers,” he said.
“We refuse to be seduced by newspapers, or anyone else for that matter, to descend into the gutter.
“We have serious national business to transact — the business of forging a formidable alliance for change in compliance with the national demand for the unity of all democratic forces in the country.”
Meanwhile, former MDC-T Pumula legislator, Albert Mhlanga has retraced his steps back to the official opposition party, saying he had repented.
“The MDC-T has always been my home despite the differences thereof,” he said.
“I believe and subscribe to the notion that we must all be under one big tent to rescue Zimbabweans from years of suffering.”
Mhlanga quit MDC-T together with former Finance minister Tendai Biti and 19 other legislators to form MDC Renewal, which later morphed into the People’s Democratic Party.
Mhlanga was later to dump Biti to join Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First, which also changed its name to National People’s Party.