By Robert Tapfumaneyi
MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe, a regular feature at the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) meetings chaired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, failed Monday to attend a scheduled gathering at State House.
The grouping comprises more than a dozen politicians from fringe parties that participated in the 2018 presidential election.
Before a recent Supreme Court ruling confirming Khupe as interim president of the MDC-T at the expense of her rival, Nelson Chamisa, the former deputy prime minister in the now-defunct inclusive government, was a regular at POLAD meetings and events.
However, she failed to attend Monday’s meeting with her spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni telling NewZimbabwe.com that his boss was busy with preparation for a party extraordinary congress.
“As you know, we are preparing for our extraordinary congress, and we need all the time to finish the preparation and putting everything in order,” he said.
The MDC-T is expected to hold the congress set to find a replacement for late MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai on July 31. The former prime minister died in 2018.
However, a senior MDC-T official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Khupe would no longer be attending any POLAD engagements as it was not a priority or the position in the newly reconfigured MDC-T.
“If she attends, she will have breached the MDC Tsvangirai party’s position because we are not part of POLAD and we have never been part of it,” he told NewZimbabwe.com Monday.
“The MDC Tsvangirai has not resolved its position on POLAD and we are not even talking about it because it’s not on the party’s priority list. We have so many issues to talk about as a party that need urgent attention than POLAD.”
The MDC-T national chairperson Morgen Komichi is also on record insisting Khupe should withdraw her membership from POLAD.
“What we know is that we (MDC-T) are not a member of POLAD and Khupe has not been mandated to represent the party. That issue will have to be considered after the extraordinary congress if there is a need to do so,” Komichi said in a recent interview.
In POLAD, Khupe heads the international re-engagement committee whose mission is calling for the removal of sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe some 20 years ago.
At Monday’s meeting, Mnangagwa said his government would continue investigating and clamping down on corruption as he continues to pursue goals towards achieving Vision 2030.
However, disgruntled Zimbabweans, fed-up with stinking corruption levels in government, are mobilising for a mass protest on 31 July when they will be demanding the removal of all State looters.