BY RICHARD MUPONDE/MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE rift between underfire MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe over the party presidency widened yesterday with the latter demanding a re-run of the internal polls.
This was after Mwonzora had claimed at a Press conference that they had resolved their differences and that Khupe had agreed to work as his deputy.
“Dr Khupe is working with us. We have resolved issues between us and the leadership. Next time, you are going to see the two vice-presidents together. Some members of the standing committee are not present here because we have been affected by COVID-19,” Mwonzora said.
“If you want to know whether she recognises my leadership or not, she told me herself that she recognises the leadership. So we are very happy. We are excited that we have been able to resolve our internal problems very amicably and I am very grateful to the maturity shown by the senior leadership of the party.”
He also told journalists that in a few weeks, his party would be unveiling its strategic plan.
The MDC-T leader said the party had managed to revert to the leadership that was left by the party founder, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, adding “except for only one, Nelson Chamisa” who was not with them.
But Khupe took to her Twitter account, where she disputed Mwonzora’s claims that they were working together.
She said that there must be a re-run of the elections.
“I confirm that I met senator Douglas Mwonzora in Harare on February 18, 2021 for the first time since December 27, 2020 during the extraordinary congress (EOC). The following issues were discussed: violence, illegitimate voters’ roll, as well as inquorable (lack of quorum) of the EOC, among others, and illegal appointments in the standing committee, which are a violation of the party constitution.
“We discussed that the national council held on February 6, 2021 had no mandate to alter or amend the constitution. My absence in today’s Press conference held at MRT [Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House] was informed by the need to address the aforementioned important issues to enhance the smooth running of our great movement, MDC-T,” Khupe said in her tweet.
MDC-T presidential spokesperson Lloyd Damba confirmed the tweet by Khupe, but said there was peace within the party.
“I also saw the tweet, but she did not say that she does not recognise the leadership of president Mwonzora. Her absence from the Press conference was acknowledged. There’s going to be peace in the cockpit. She was only highlighting the grey areas which she said they should be resolved,” Damba said.
Efforts to get a comment from Khupe were in vain as she was said to be in a meeting.
During his Press conference, Mwonzora also said that urban councils were in a bad state due to man-made problems, corruption, and nepotism, theft of money and equipment, and outsourcing of major income.