Khupe, Mudzuri must accept winds of change

Learnmore Zuze

IN this article I make the case that politicians in the main opposition movement, MDC-T, must have the intelligence to feel the vibes of the winds of change and adjust accordingly in order to maintain the relevance of their struggle. With the despot, former President Robert Mugabe, out of the way and MDC-T founding president Morgan Tsvangirai gone, it should be common cause that the course of the struggle cannot assume the same trajectory. What was true yesterday can no longer remain the truth today.

By Learnmore Zuze

Currently, the MDC-T is teetering on the brink resulting from Tsvangirai’s death. The scramble for leadership has plunged the party into disarray although there have been frantic efforts to present a united front. Discord has been sown among brethren. The current situation certainly requires politicians with a large heart; politicians who understand that the common good must prevail over individual desires.

The power struggles that have rocked the MDC-T during and after the death of Tsvangirai make for sad reading. The late MDC-T leader himself has been accused of fomenting the ensuing confusion by appointing two extra vice-presidents. One of the vice-presidents, Nelson Chamisa, became the target of political vitriol from fellow comrades aligned to Thokozani Khupe.

Khupe has also been subject of attack from some misguided elements within the main opposition party. The violence visited upon Khupe in Buhera should be condemned in the strongest terms possible especially in a democracy-purporting party.

The major bone of contention in the MDC-T is, to put it simply, who leads the party after the death of Tsvangirai. It is apparent there is a power struggle. Khupe, as seen clearly in her actions and speech, believes she is the elected of the three vice-presidents and hence must lead the party. Elias Mudzuri also made his intentions known through his spirited efforts, even availing a picture of Tsvangirai’s hands signing a party document while on a hospital bed, to prove he had been appointed acting president for the beleaguered party. The youth in the party have not been left out, making their thoughts felt although through unorthodox means.

Now, while I hold respect for Khupe and Mudzuri, I believe they should be shrewd enough not to fight with the inevitable. Like I highlighted before, the obtaining events threaten to rip the party apart and this is hardly the time to skirt around the truth. Chamisa is evidently the man to lead this party as evidenced by his massive grassroots support. This is, however, not to set aside the democratic processes of electing leaders; the three leaders will certainly have to go for an elective congress. Even if we are to overlook Chamisa’s massive support, it is apparent that Tsvangirai knew it well and hinted at it prior to his death. In fact, what Tsvangirai did was not to hint but to almost express in his statement relating to leaving the levers of power to a younger generation.

If the other two vice-presidents are honest with themselves, they should see and acknowledge how the winds of change are blowing. This acknowledgement would save the party of unnecessary bickering and discord. As things stand, Zanu PF could be poised for an easy victory; they are not mired in retrogressive power struggles. It is a fact that no progress was ever achieved during epochs of fighting. If Khupe and Mudzuri would have the big heart like Tsvangirai had, they would see the sense of it. This, however, is not to say the party must not go to an elective congress.

The MDC-T as a party has come through a difficult process, losing, in cold blood, some of its illustrious sons. It will be a sad day if people will walk away from the party simply because the leadership cannot agree on what is plain and evident.

It is a self-evident fact that African politics in general, and Zimbabwean politics in particular, are not theoretical and academic where bookish and legalistic notions win the day. Politics this side of the hemisphere is about connectivity with the grassroots.

True, Khupe could have cited that she is the elected of the three; Mudzuri could claim he was left in an acting capacity but what prevails at the end of the day is grassroots connection, which Chamisa has in abundance.

Progress, I will repeat again, should lead the ego. The MDC- T’s future survival is largely dependent on the ability to accept the inevitable. A scenario can be envisaged where the MDC- T party is likely to lose crucial votes if this matter is not handled in a manner that taps into wisdom. What is extremely important at this crucial moment, with elections due in a few months, is unity within the party.

Unity of purpose is the best send-off gift that can be handed to Tsvangirai. He understood that bettering the lives of people weighed more than egos. It is the reason why, to his detriment, he got into a government of national unity which he was blamed for giving Zanu PF a life line.

After all is said and done, let it be grasped that national progress must lead and egos must follow behind.

 Learnmore Zuze is a law officer and writes in his own capacity. E-mail


  1. You are sport on Zuze. I however think allowing the kupes to go will actually help strengthen the party as they have shown their colors that should they be allowed to stay, they are likely to do bhora musango just for them to have the last laughter. It looks like their mind is set

    1. No, expelling Khupe is not the best solution. Remember, you need to be weary of who stands to benefit from this circus – ZANU. Khupe knows she will never win an election. She even knows even at congress, she will never win. She is hiding behind the congress which she knows that logistically, this will never be accepted as it derails MDC from campaigning – which in any case, if the congress is to be held means at least 2-months planning and is a benefit to ZANU. Khupe knows that Chamisa’s elevation was constitutional. So why is she adamant? The best guess is that she is being used by ZANU as she is the weakest candidate among the three against ED. We know MDC Alliance will bring in more votes than MDC-T alone, and is an advantage for the public. So, why is Khupe against the wishes of the public? Second, we know that Chamisa will bring in more votes than Khupe or Mudzuri, which is an advantage for the public. So, why is Khupe against the elevation of Chamisa – who is the darling of the majority? In my opinion, She has nothing to lose, and all these actions have been carefully planned to trigger the right moment – the expulsion. Once expelled, she will rush to the courts, which are invariably, ZANU-controlled. ZANU will make sure Khupe wins the case and by doing so, ndo pakafira sarungano – ED will win the elections, against all odds.

  2. spot on zuze. the demographics show that the youth will hold sway. recent elections elsewhere have shown that people are ever voting for younger and younger leaders. so if we are to follow the trend then Chamisa stands a better chance of winning the elections through the younger generation. however, they have to check whether these youngsters are registered votes. they have to make sure the do go and vote on the day. they also have to make sure they get to the youth in rural areas. otherwise aluata continuea

  3. This is a delicate balancing act for the MDC-T and the entire opposition. These wrangles were long anticipated but now you have limited options to weigh or be prepared for another 5 years in the cold. Much as I support the opposition, this is not negotiable. Shape up or ship out. There is no time for intra-party disputes.

  4. Stanley Mutero

    There is no time and resources to do Congress and Khupe knows it, national council has resolved, Chamisa started campaining and already there is overwhelming support. Lets open our eyes, the best way to destroy a political party is from within and khupe is being used. Her thick skull shows that she was paid to destroy and she is the one causing violence by having unsanctioned meetings. Tatambura we need change Khupe une hutsinye chaihwo uri mutumwa wa sataan selfish kupihwa mari to destroy our future satanist wemunhu.



  7. Love destroy hate

    Comment…mr Mbeva, you shall see mdc alliance mp’ s campaining after internal party primary elections. You a jumping the gun sir mbeva. just wait for that process first.
    As for Chamisa, he is the best candicate for mdc alliance to fight it out with ED. and i believe if the elections are to be fair, Chamisa is going to shock his critics.

  8. So because “there is no money & time for an elective congress”…..”Chamisa has grassroots support”? Really. If the MDC loses who will they blame this time around, I wonder. Real support is shown at congress by being elected like we saw the ANC doing recently, not this anointed mumbo jumbo business….

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