Khupe gears for MDC indaba
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
MDC acting president Thokozani Khupe yesterday made several appointments to the party standing committee — vowing to return it to its founding principles — while declaring that preparations for an extraordinary congress were in full swing.
This comes as Khupe and the MDC-Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa are involved in a fierce tussle for control of the country’s largest opposition party.
Khupe held her first meeting at the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (MRT) House after seizing control of the iconic building from Chamisa and his allies, allegedly with the aid of security forces.
“We have met here to correct all that we did wrong as a party.
“We must bring back the founding values of the party and the people you see here are the real founder members of the party.
“I, along with others such as (Gift) Chimanikire, (Paurina) Mpariwa, the late Nicholas Mudzengerere, Remus Makuwaza and the late Isaac Matongo and others were the ones who formed the party from ZCTU.
“We are here and ready to go,” Khupe told the media.
“We will be holding the extraordinary congress. I am the president of the party with 103 MPs in Parliament.
“We are a government-in-waiting and we want to be a responsible leadership, especially in the fight against coronavirus (Covid-19).
“That is why we have told our MPs to go to Parliament to make the government accountable.
“We are here to serve Zimbabweans and … return to the values upon which the party was formed,” Khupe further told journalists.
MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora announced that Khupe had made several appointments to the standing committee “in terms of clause 9 of the MDC-T constitution” to fill gaps left by members who were behind Chamisa.
Some of the appointments included Elias Mudzuri, who is now the party’s deputy national chairperson, Gift Chimanikire (deputy national organising secretary) Chief Ndlovu (deputy treasurer-general) Khaliphani Phugeni (deputy secretary for information) Shakespeare Mukoyi (national youth assembly chairperson) as well as Gandhi Mudzingwa and Manase Tsvangirai (secretary for elections).
Mwonzora also said the national standing committee had discussed the ownership of the party’s headquarters as well as the fate of MPs who are siding with Chamisa.
“We saw some people in court claiming ownership of the headquarters.
“We want to make it clear that it is not a private property; it is owned by the party.
“We are going to provide evidence to that effect when the time is ripe.
“We also discussed the issue of the MPs who have decided to join another political party. We will deal with that on a case-by-case basis because we are not a vindictive leadership,” Mwonzora said.
In the latest fight for control of the MDC, trustees of MRT House said Chamisa and his allies should remain in occupation of the hugely symbolic building.
Two trustees of Harvest House Pvt Limited — Timothy James Neil and Ian Muteto Makone — presented documents in court on Friday stating that while neither Khupe’s nor Chamisa’s outfit owned the property, they had given the right of occupancy to the MDC-Alliance.
This comes as Khupe and Chamisa have been at each other’s throats after the party’s much-loved founding father, Tsvangirai, died in February 2018.
The fights took a turn for the worse after the Supreme Court upheld an earlier High Court ruling in March, which had nullified Chamisa’s hotly-disputed ascendancy to the helm of the MDC following Tsvangirai’s death.