MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa has flexed his muscle and wielded the axe on break-away faction leader and former vice president Thokozani Khupe by pulling the plug on her position as an MP.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda made the announcement Thursday afternoon at the opening of the day’s session.
“I have received notice from the MDC-T party that Honourable Thokozani Khupe has ceased to be a member of that party therefore she ceased to represent the party in Parliament,” said Mudenda.
“Therefore, a vacancy has arisen for the Bulawayo Metropolitan Proportional representation seat. The House will make the necessary arrangements to inform the President and ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.”
Khupe and Chamisa were involved in a bitter power scrap following founding MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s death on Valentines’ Day after a two-year battle with colon cancer.
Chamisa prevailed amid violent scenes that left dozens injured while Khupe and some of her close associates dodged death after rogue party youths aligned to her rival tried to set alight a hut in which she had taken refuge at Tsvangirai’s funeral wake in Buhera.
Khupe demanded an ex-ordinary congress arguing she was the legitimate acting president of the MDC-T because she was “democratically elected” at the party’s October 2014 congress while Chamisa, along with another vice president Elias Mudzuri, were appointed by Tsvangirai immediately after the former Prime Minister announced he had colon cancer in 2016.
The former deputy prime minister then announced she was breaking away and called for an extra-ordinary congress now set for April 22 this year.
Chamisa reacted by expelling Khupe, then spokesperson Obert Gutu and organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe from the party while national chairman Lovemore Moyo resigned his position in a huff.
The two factions are now at each other’s throats over the use of the party name and symbols that include Tsvangirai’s face.
But Gutu, who reports indicate has been tapped as a possible candidate to deputise Khupe, earlier this week seemed to suggest his faction would have a new symbol.
“We have everything under control. We have our party symbol but will use the name MDC-T,” he said.
“This will be revealed at the right time but if anyone thinks they have legitimate right to the name of the party they can take any action and we will respond accordingly.”