By Chris Mahove
THE decision to expel Thokozani Khupe from the MDC-T party, returned to haunt him Thursday as he lost the presidential elections, former party spokesman Obert Gutu has said.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Gutu said Chamisa and his group took a fatal gamble when the decided expel Khupe instead of “finding political solutions’ to their differences.
“We were taken to court, some of us. Our erstwhile colleagues said they had fired us from the party. Of course, wrongly, unlawfully, so when you say this gamble, that question should be put to those people who purportedly dismissed us but now the chickens have come home to roost,” Gutu said.
He added, “Like they say you reap what you sow; so, whoever did what they did, I am sure the chickens are now coming home to roost. This is now coming back to haunt them.
“Some of us have said let’s follow the rules; let’s follow the constitution, let us be peaceful, let us be non-violent and have political issues resolved politically but they decided to drag us to the High Court and, here we are, at the end of the day, what take home value have they managed to get; nothing,”
Gutu, who was the MDC-T spokesperson before the fall-out with Chamisa, said a united MDC-T could have fared much better against Zanu PF, which bagged almost 70 percent of the parliamentary seats and is likely to romp to victory in the presidential election.
“Just look at the National Assembly results. I mean Zanu PF is running away with a landslide victory which should have been avoided.
“We are looking at some constituencies like Nkayi South we could have beaten Zanu PF but because of the split of votes, here we are, we have a situation where we have performed dismally, let’s face it.
“The figures that I have seen there, Zanu PF is on about 70 percent more than two thirds majority, let’s just say this was a complete disaster.”
The former MDC-T spokesperson said the MDC Alliance should concede defeat and not talk of rigging when they did not have any evidence to prove the claimed fraud.
“You know an election is not the end of the world. I am happy to give an example of myself. I have conceded that I lost in Harare East and, if I had any issues with the manner in which the elections were administered, I obviously would have followed the necessary processes.
“I am always someone who wants to be issues-based,” he added.
“For me to say that an electoral process was rigged, one should actually have adequate evidence, reasonable evidence to be able to prove that … so, I am unable to say that an election was rigged if I don’t have evidence.
“Unless maybe you are going to give me details to say allegations are that elections have been rigged because of ABC because, for me to just say the election was rigged full stop without any substantiating evidence, I think with due respect that would be nonsensical.
“If I claim it was rigged, then I should be able to back it up with evidence.”
The former Harare East legislator who lost to Tendai Biti in the just ended parliamentary election, said the Khupe-led MDC-T party could have done much better had it given the $1.8 million that was given to the Chamisa faction under the Political Parties Financing Act.
“In our case, our campaign was very badly affected, you know we had legal issues, for the greater part of what was supposed to be a campaigning period we were busy attending to legal issues as you know our erstwhile friends were suing us,” he said.
“It was financially draining, emotionally draining, physically draining, and at the same time the issue of the financial resources; what happened to the 1.8 million dollars of the Political Parties Financial Act.
“We actually ran this campaign on a zero budget and look at the kind of performance by the MDC-T, and the results we were able to come up with on a zero budget, I am actually happy.
“Imagine if we had some money, even $100 000, even $50 000, just imagine what we could do. We are talking here of an election with candidates who could not even manage to print 10 fliers, five posters, sometimes even cases were a candidate didn’t have 5 rand for a kombi to move from point A to B, but we still posted what I believe are still very reasonable figures.”