Suspended MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khupe and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly has officially split from the party and declared herself leader of a new MDC-T formation in a move that will set a litmus test for the country’s judicial system.
Speaking during a press conference held in Bulawayo yesterday, Thokozani Khupe said:
“This day the 21st of January the year of our Lord 2022, I announce that the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai has split and there are now two MDC-T formations, one led by yours truly Dr Thokozani Khupe.”
The announcement comes a day after the MDC-T deputy had been suspended from the party, a move she rubbished on the basis that party president Douglas Mwonzora had no legal capacity to make such a decision as he was no longer leader of the MDC-T.
In a the letter Mwozora wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) , he said will contest in the March 26 bi-elections under the MDC Alliance banner.
“Mwonzora has already notified ZEC that he will contest the upcoming bi-elections under the MDC Alliance party.
“In so doing, Mwonzora has fired himself because in terms of the constitution article 5;10a member of the party shall be terminated if you ever join or support another political party other than the MDC-T. termination of membership in these circumstances is automatic,” said Khupe.
Thokozani Khupe accused Douglas Mwonzora of a litany of charges which included constitutional transgression, harboring violence, perjury and dictatorship in the party.
“The MDC-T is a social democratic party that was founded on values of constitutionalism. It’s a party that operates under the dictates of the constitution.
“The sad reality is that this constitution has been mutilated and shredded into pieces by those who are supposed to uphold it,” said Khupe.
She accused Douglas Mwonzora of overseeing recalls in the party without due processes and deceiving the courts.
“The mayor of Gweru Josiah Makombe was recalled without due process and up to now he has not received any letter advising him that he is no longer a member of the MDC-T,” said Khupe.
Seasoned Political Analyst Professor Ibbo Mandaza shared his thoughts with Review and Mail on the uncertain future of the opposition party in the face of upcoming elections.
“The opposition forces in Zimbabwe are immense and remain alive to the issue, what is at stake is the formal leadership , which is in crisis. The latter will find itself in time and must undergo renewal,” said Professor Mandaza.
He added that the disarray in the MDC-T is a victory to their rival MDC-Alliance.
“Of course, it’s a victory for the time being over faction that has clearly collapsed politically and its leaders disgraced forever,” he said.
Another prominent Zimbabwe Open University political science expert who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the opposition parties in Zimbabwe lack ideological grounding.
“The opposition has lacked ideological grounding for posterity as was seen in the GNU of 2008 where the opposition shared (tokenism) political power but was expected to permeate or infiltrate or influence or convince or weaken the deep-rooted tentacles of ZANU-PF entrenched in neo-patrimonialism,” he said.