BY BLESSED MHLANGA/MOSES MATENGA
THE opposition MDC-T has been plunged into chaos following a “secret” meeting between its leader Douglas Mwonzora and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, with some officials saying they were not comfortable with their leader’s close proximity to the Zanu PF leaders.
Mwonzora secretly met Mnangagwa at State House last week, and claimed that they were merely setting the tone for dialogue ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.
The meeting was also attended by Mnangagwa’s deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, while Mwonzora did not take any senior party officials with him.
MDC-T officials yesterday claimed that party vice-president Thokozani Khupe was only made aware of the meeting from a social media alert by Alpha Media Holdings’ online radio and TV station Heart & Soul TV.
“She enquired through the WhatsApp group of the standing committee if it was true. All the leaders in the party were not aware of the meeting with Mnangagwa. Does it not strike you as odd that the Zanu PF leader was with his deputy, while Mwonzora went with his bodyguards?” a highly-placed source said.
The standing committee WhatsApp group was later blocked to only allow administrators to post after members allegedly bombarded Mwonzora with questions over the meeting.
Khupe addressed her supporters last Saturday in Njube high-density suburb, Bulawayo, for close to an hour and did not make any reference to Mwonzora’s meeting.
MDC national chairperson Morgen Komichi said he was not part of the meeting as he was on parliamentary business. He also appeared unsure of the agenda of Mnangagwa’s meeting with Mwonzora.
“It could be for dialogue processes. We would wish it to be the beginning because as MDC-T, we have made it clear that we are for dialogue as part of the solution to the economic and political crisis. We are going to have a meeting to get a full briefing on what happened,” Komichi said.
Party vice-president Elias Mudzuri was also absent from the Mnangagwa-Mwonzora meeting.
Khupe’s supporters are reportedly now pushing for a coalition with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in the wake of the deepening internal rifts within the MDC-T camp.
Insiders said Khupe was unhappy with Mwonzora’s leadership style.
“While addressing a capacity crowd in Bulawayo, Dr Khupe never ever mentioned the illegitimate Mwonzora’s name. Not even once, not even twice, never. The politics is now interesting,” a party member posted in the MDC-T Bulawayo province WhatsApp group.
A Mwonzora supporter in the group immediately hit back, saying: “So what? After all, do you think Simboti is perplexed?”
“We are buoyed by the prospects of unity between Dr Khupe and pastor (MDC Alliance leader Nelson) Chamisa, let’s leave Mwonzora to dine with Zanu PF,” a Khupe ally based in the United States chipped in.
Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba said: “I am not aware of her (Khupe’s) unhappiness and so I cannot come to the conclusion that she wants her 45 000 voters across the country to cast their lots with Nelson (Chamisa).”