By Nkosana Dlamini
FORMER MDC-T legislator for Matopo Lovemore Moyo says his surprise split with former ally Thokozani Khupe ions was linked to the ex-party Vice President’s decision to escalate the main opposition’s leadership disagreements to a fight.
Moyo was speaking to NewZimbabwe.com in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
Asked what became of his relationship with Khupe, Moyo said the two differed on how the allies should pursue the party’s leadership struggles.
“When you are an ally, you will be pursuing one common objective and the relationship goes to the extent of that common objective that you are pursuing,” he said.
“If then you reach where you no longer view things in the same manner, you then obviously disengage, terminate your relationship.”
The former Speaker of Parliament and now leader of a new political outfit was in unison with Khupe and former party organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe in opposing an MDC-T decision to form a pre-election alliance with other opposition forces.
Together with the two political allies, Moyo was among the top party politicians from Matebeleland who were targeted for violent attacks by some party activists after taking a stand against the formation of the alliance.
They all boycotted party meetings in protest over the controversial decisions.
The MDC-T leadership wrangle turned even more ugly following the February death of party President Morgan Tsvangirai when then co-VP Nelson Chamisa railroaded party structures to declare him leader, much to the chagrin of Khupe who went on to form a splinter group and has declared herself legitimate leader of the main opposition.
Khupe has gone on to hold an elective congress in which Bhebhe is also in the party hierarchy.
But conspicuous by his absence was Moyo, who surprisingly went separate ways with his allies last month to form the United Movement for Devolution (UMD) whose aim is to push for devolution of power among the country’s provinces.
Not contesting elections
The former legislator said his departure from MDC-T had nothing to do with personalities but principles to do with “adherence to the constitution, non-violence and tribalism that was now evident in the party”.
“I took a simple decision to resign because I didn’t want to be associated with any faction. It was clear that there was now factional politics between Khupe and Chamisa.
“So, I wanted to stay clear and clean of any factional politics and that’s what I did and perhaps that’s where the divergence came from.
“Certainly, we didn’t share the same way forward. I didn’t want an environment where I keep on fighting for a name, fighting for leadership.
“So, that is where we differed on the approach to the challenge …we did not fight but we amicably went separate ways.”
Moyo said he was erroneously associated with the Khupe camp by journalists when the MDC-T fights began.
He refused to comment on who the legitimate MDC-T leader between Chamisa and Khupe was, saying it was “up to party structures to judge”.
The soft-spoken politician said he was not joining the 2018 presidential race and will not have any of his party members contesting the parliamentary polls.
“Remember I went public on that, I was not going to contest any parliamentary seat. I have been clear even before I left MDC,” he said.
“Our movement is driven by the gap that we saw, and that gap is in lack of implementation of devolution and also the desire to see the provinces grow economically.
“It has nothing to do with members wanting to be Presidents or MPs. We need to empower the provinces.”