Khupe’s faction wreaks carnage… as it sacks nine more MDC legislators aligned to Chamisa  

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Mugove Tafirenyika
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
tafirenyikam@dailynews.co.zw

AS THE MDC’s mindless wars worsen, interim party leader Thokozani Khupe threw the kitchen sink at her rival Nelson Chamisa yesterday — recalling nine senators from Parliament and barring more than 1 000 party members from attending this month’s extra-ordinary congress.

Concerned party officials who spoke to the Daily News last night bemoaned the dearth of leadership in the various MDC factions — sharply criticising both Khupe and Chamisa for failing the country at a time that opposition unity and vigilance has never been needed more.
This comes as both Khupe and Chamisa have increasingly demonstrated their lack of capacity to heal the warring party’s rifts, and to give direction to their followers as the crucial 2023 elections beckon.
Yesterday, the Senate announced the recall of the nine senators from Parliament — a few weeks before the party holds its eagerly-awaited and court-directed extra-ordinary congress at the end of this month.
Announcing the recall, Senate president Mable Chinomona said the nine had been withdrawn after MDC interim secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora wrote to the august House saying that the legislators had ceased to represent the party’s interests, pursuant to Section 129 (k) of the Constitution.
“Pursuant to the above, I do hereby inform the House that vacancies have arisen in these constituencies by operation of the law.
“The necessary administrative measures will be taken to inform His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, of the existence of the vacancies in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) as amended,” Chinomona announced just before the Senate began its business.
The recalled senators include Meliwe Phuthi (Matabeleland South), Helen Zivira (Bulawayo), Siphiwe Ncube (Bulawayo), Phyllis Ndlovu (Matabeleland North), Keresencia Chabuka (Manicaland), Herbert Sinampande (Matabeleland North), Gideon Shoko (Bulawayo) and Tapfumanei Wunganayi (Mashonaland East).
Khupe and Chamisa have been involved in a fierce tussle for the control of the country’s main opposition party since the death of its much-loved founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai, in February 2018.
The senseless infighting went a notch up following the March Supreme Court’s judgment which upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court which nullified Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the party.
The court conferred the party leadership to Khupe and also directed that the MDC reverts to its 2014 structures, in addition to holding an extra-ordinary congress to elect Tsvangirai’s substantive successor.
Last month, Chamisa’s faction suffered a setback in its bid to bar Khupe from recalling party legislators from Parliament.
Then, High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi ruled that Chamisa’s team was improperly before the courts, as the MDC Alliance was not a juristic person that was capable of suing or being sued.
That ruling paved the way for Khupe to recall nine more legislators last week, after she had successfully recalled four others earlier — including the MDC Alliance’s leader in Parliament Tabitha Khumalo, National Assembly and Senate chief whips Prosper Mutseyami and Lilian Timveos respectively, as well as Chalton Hwende (Kuwadzana East).
The nine MPs that were recalled last week were Amos Chibaya (Mkoba), Happymore Chidziva (Highfield West), proportional representatives Bacilia Majaya, Mucharairwa Mugidho, Virginia Muradzikwa, Anna Muyambo, Francesca Ncube, Nomathemba Ndlovu and Murisi Zwizwai (Harare Central).
This comes after High Court judge, Justice David Mangota, recently dismissed petitions by Chamisa’s  MDC faction to repossess Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, formerly Harvest House — meaning that Khupe and her allies are now officially the legitimate occupants of the iconic building.
Meanwhile, Khupe yesterday further moved to weaken Chamisa when she barred 1 050 party delegates said to be sympathetic to her rival from attending the July 31 extra-ordinary congress — saying they were bent on fomenting violence on the day.
Khupe’s spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni told journalists that the party delegates had automatically expelled themselves by aligning themselves with Chamisa’s faction — and as a result, were no longer “bona fide congress delegates”.
“The national standing committee is meeting now to discuss preparations for the extra-ordinary congress.
“We have gathered that there are 1 050 hooligans who have been sent by our erstwhile colleagues to disrupt our congress.
“Our constitution provides that you cannot be a member of any other party other than the MDC-T,” Phugeni said ahead of the party’s national standing committee yesterday.
“Anyone who has pledged allegiance to another party either verbally or through their actions cannot participate in
our congress.
“Otherwise we will end up having people such as Hwende coming to the congress because he was deputy treasurer general,” Phugeni added.
Khupe long expelled Chamisa from the 2014 structures for the same offence.
Meanwhile, MDC organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe disagreed with yesterday’s recalls, arguing that the Supreme Court had ruled that the MDC Alliance was not a political party — “hence no delegate can be expelled from the party for belonging to a non-existent party”.
“It is disturbing when senior leaders become that divisive as to want to bar others from participating in the congress.
“The court judgment speaks to two formations — one led by Khupe and the other led by Chamisa and I do not understand how anyone can be said to belong to the MDC Alliance party.
“Delegates from both formations are entitled to be delegates as long as they were part of the 2014 structures.
“In any case I am the one who is responsible for drawing up the list of delegates and I will not allow such nonsense whereby people who are not bona fide delegates end up at the congress.
“We must always make sure that as leaders we are seen to be uniting people not dividing them by such utterances,” Bhebhe said.
According to the MDC’s constitution, at least two thirds of the over 4 000 delegates form a quorum for congress — although a simple majority can proceed, provided that a proper congress is held within six months.

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