Saturday, 7 April 2018


MDC-T president Advocate Nelson Chamisa faces a test of his mettle as he addresses a rally in Bulawayo today for the first time as party leader and that of the MDC Alliance.

The rally also comes after a recent resolution by the MDC-T national council to fire Dr Thokozani Khupe who was deputy party president along with her allies Mr Abednigo Bhebhe who was the organising secretary and Mr Obert Gutu, the party’s spokesperson.

Dr Khupe was locked in a succession battle with Adv Chamisa to replace the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died in February.

The party’s national council endorsed Mr Chamisa as Tsvangirai’s successor but Dr Khupe refused to recognise him arguing that she was the legitimate heir to the MDC-T presidency.

She was subsequently sacked from the party along with her allies over charges of holding unconstitutional meetings and dragging the name of the MDC-T into disrepute. Dr Khupe, however, insisted that they are the original MDC-T and had left the Adv Chamisa led formation because of their “violent” nature.

There has been debate over the influence of Dr Khupe on the party’s Matabeleland structures with some saying that her expulsion saw her moving away with “her people,” a development likely to affect the Adv Chamisa-led party in the coming elections.

However, MDC-T acting spokesperson Ms Thabitha Khumalo said they were the legitimate MDC-T and were not concerned about proving any point to Dr Khupe.

“We are on a road show now rallying people to come and listen to the address on what we have to offer Zimbabweans. The rally is not meant to prove or disprove anything,” she said.
“We are not concerned about Khupe and her group. As far as we are concerned, they were expelled from the MDC-T and whatever they do afterwards is their business. We are the real MDC-T and our objective tomorrow (today) is to address Zimbabweans on the future.”

The Dr Khupe-led faction pushed forward its extraordinary congress initially scheduled for today in Bulawayo to April 21 with her spokesperson and personal assistant Mr Witness Dube saying the postponement was forced by security considerations.

During the week, a “Spiritual Solidarity Tea” was held in Bulawayo by female politicians in solidarity with Dr Khupe.

Part of the attendees included MDC legislator Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and People’s Democratic Party leader, Ms Lucia Matibenga.

Dr Khupe, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Ms Matibenga last week met European envoys including British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Catriona Laing, sparking speculation that the three wanted to rally the support of diplomats.

In her address during the solidarity tea, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga was quoted as saying women were going to support each other in this year’s elections.

“It is high time we show men that we can do it in style and support each other. On election day, we are all going to be pantyless just in case that demon of not voting for a female candidate catches up with you while in the ballot box. You can always lift up your dress and remember that you are a woman,” she was quoted as saying.

“In our culture, if you do not like your son-in-law, on the day he comes for lobola negotiations, you lift up your dress to express yourself. As women, we are lifting up our dresses for men because they have exposed us to a level we cannot tolerate.” Herald


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