Chamisa says negotiating with peeved Khupe; party not collapsing

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MDC-T Acting President Nelson Chamisa admitted Wednesday that the party was going through turbulent times but maintained the country’s biggest opposition movement was not collapsing.

Addressing a press conference in Harare which was attended by party Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora and Vice President Elias Mudzuri, who have both publicly attacked him for grabbing power, Chamisa said the party’s leadership was slowly finding each other.,

“The misfortune of losing our iconic leader Morgan Tsvangirai has caused difficulties and turbulences because we are flying, but that doesn’t mean we are crashing,” Chamisa said.

“We are reaching an understanding and working together so there is no noise in the cockpit.”

Chamisa said Vice President Thokozani Khupe’s issue was against the MDC-T as a party because of the MDC Alliance and not against him as a person, adding they were using internal processes to reach out to her.

“Khupe is our leader and we are negotiating with her. She is not here but you must know that she is with us. Transparency is not nakedness and we are engaging within our internal processes and we will be making announcements when the time comes,” he said.

Chamisa said the MDC-T was putting all pieces together and would emerge stronger, noting that opposition colleagues Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube were also on their way back.

Asked whether they were coming as MDC Alliance partners or re-joining the MDC-T, Chamisa said there was no difference between the two establishments.

“There is no distinction between the MDC-T and the Alliance. We are one family in broad terms and they are on their way to come to big tent and we will campaign and participate under that banner,” he said.

There had been fears that the MDC-T was headed for a split or total collapse following the death of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai on February 14 which left his three Vice Presidents fighting for control of the party; all claiming to be the legitimate successor.

The party’s national council, the highest decision-making body outside congress, endorsed Chamisa as acting president of the party, a few hours after the Tsvangirai’s death.

Chamisa maintained that the process was above board despite contestations from some party leaders, among them Mudzuri, Mwonzora, Khupe and national spokesman Obert Gutu.