MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa has roped in pastors, lawyers and businesspersons to engage party Deputy President Thokozani Khupe who has jumped ship following bitter leadership fallout, a senior party official has said.
In an exclusive interview on Monday, MDC-T deputy national chair Morgen Komichi conceded the main opposition could soon be forced to abandon its efforts to mend ties with Khupe and allies if the ex-Deputy Prime Minister persists with her refusal to play ball.
“What has been happening is that there is a process to engage my sister to come back on board and the dialogue has been on and the issue of whether to form a party or not is entirely her own choice,” Komichi told NewZimbabwe.com.
Khupe broke ranks with her colleagues citing unfair treatment during party processes to replace the late founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai who succumbed to colon cancer over a month ago.
She has twice been physically attacked for opposing Chamisa’s alleged power grab which she insists was driven by contempt for her as both an Ndebele and female politician vying for a top leadership post.
The Bulawayo lawmaker vowed in front of followers during her meeting in Bulawayo on Sunday that she was proceeding with the formation of a splinter group that shall instead seek a merger with the Joice Mujuru led coalition.
Asked to respond to Khupe’s vows to go separate ways, Komichi admitted it was now becoming increasingly difficult to flag her down as she has totally ignored all pleas to re-engage.
“Up to yesterday (Sunday), dialogue efforts were in place. When she announced her intentions (to form a party), alongside her meeting, there was also a dialogue process that was trying to persuade her so that she is on board and she reneged that dialogue team.
“So really, l think she has made up her mind and when someone has made his or her mind, there is only so much you can do,” said Komichi, adding that they were trying to avert a party split which would grant rivals Zanu PF an easy road back to power.
The MDC-T top official denied claims Khupe was victimised for her tribal origins and that the Chamisa led executive was violent.
Komichi said his party has demonstrated enough will to deal with violence after instituting an internal investigation into the violence that befell Khupe and her allies in Buhera last month and lately in Bulawayo.
“We are not tribalistic. We don’t want to run a party that is tribal either. That is why we have been trying to engage her to come and work with everybody as a member of the party,” he said.
“If we were really tribalistic, how would we have a delegation going to see her!
“So many personalities of high distinction have been dispatched to Bulawayo to go and engage her.
“Pastors, lawyers, businesspeople have been assigned to go and see her and with all that effort, we were trying to make sure that we remain a national party.
“Why should we talk about tribalism? What do you get out of it? The moment you try to be tribalistic you won’t have the power to run the country.”
Coincidentally, Chamisa is also a pastor, lawyer and a businessman all in one.