BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE circus in the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T reached a crescendo yesterday after the party suspended its vice-president, Thokozani Khupe, before the latter countered the move saying the former ceased to represent the party after he claimed leadership of the MDC Alliance.
Khupe said she was now MDC-T interim president following the announcement by Mwonzora that he was now the leader of the MDC Alliance.
Mwonzora has claimed ownership of the MDC Alliance name and party symbols in his bid to lock out Nelson Chamisa from the electoral race.
MDC-T spokesperson Witness Dube announced Khupe’s suspension soon after she had announced her intention to hold a Press conference on party affairs in Bulawayo today.
In a statement, Dube said Khupe was suspended on January 12, 2021.
“The MDC wishes to advise that first vice-president Khupe has been suspended. A letter dated January 12, 2022 was personally delivered to Khupe and her legal team,”Dube said.
“The suspension was with immediate effect pending investigations into the various allegations levelled against her. Investigations are being conducted by a team led by the party’s arbiter-general. The suspension is in line with the party’s constitution and is a result of certain issues that arose. Once the said issues are investigated and fully resolved, the party will communicate such.”
But Khupe’s spokesperson Ntanto Ndlovu dismissed claims that she had been served with a suspension letter.
“Our position is that Mwonzora is no longer the leader of our party after he notified Zec [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] that he was the leader of another political party, MDC Alliance,” Ndlovu said.
“He does not have the legal moral (ground) to say he suspended Khupe. Dube also does not have the locus standi to speak on behalf of the MDC-T party because he was not elected, according to the procedures. He is illegitimate, therefore, the so-called suspension is null and void.”
Khupe lost the MDC-T presidency to Mwonzora in a disputed 2020 extraordinary elective congress which was marred by violence and alleged vote rigging.
She recently filed an application at the High Court seeking an order to stop Mwonzora from recalling her from Parliament.
The court is yet to make a ruling on the matter.
- Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya