PARLIAMENT has been sucked into the intriguing power struggle in the opposition MDC-T in the wake of expelled vice president Thokozani Khupe’s recall from the National Assembly.
The other faction of the MDC-T led by Nelson Chamisa wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda notifying the House that Khupe was no longer a member of the party and effectively declaring a vacancy in her position as Bulawayo MP.
But in a statement late Thursday, Khupe said she was baffled by Mudenda’s decision.
“The MDC-T acting president Dr Thokozani Khupe finds her recall from Parliament as a malicious act of interfering in the internal matters of a political party considering that she had already written to Parliament notifying them of a leadership crisis in the party.
“The leadership crisis is currently awaiting settlement before the High Court of Zimbabwe and it is therefore difficult to understand what leg criteria Parliament of Zimbabwe used in taking sides with the other faction,” said Khupe in a statement issued by her spokesperson Witness Dube.
Khupe’s faction spokesperson Obert Gutu said they have already instructed their lawyer, constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku, to lodge an urgent application with the High Court to reverse the recall.
“Parliament has jumped the gun. We have since instructed Professor Lovemore Madhuku to launch an urgent chamber application to have the recall set aside,” Gutu said.
This is not the first time the MDC-T has resorted to recalling its MPs to settle leadership disputes. Following the fallout with then secretary general Tendai Biti in 2014, the late Morgan Tsvangirai recalled nearly 20 lawmakers but cryptically did not field candidates in the subsequent by elections.
Biti went on to form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which is now party of an opposition coalition known as the MDC Alliance with the MDC-T among other parties.
Meanwhile, PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume seemed to blame Khupe for the problems in the MDC-T.
“It is the decision of our partners’ council and they can best respond,” said Mafume.
“However, it would appear that Khuphe was calling pararel meetings in the name of the party. Writing letters to institutions claiming to be the president.
“Refusing to meet Chamisa in any plartform. This, of course, creates confusion particularly with an election coming.
“The alliance is depended on the MDC-T having a clear leadership structure as it provides the presidential candidate and the consequently the proportional vote.”
Former Industry Minister Welshman Ncube’s party said Khupe’s departure was insignificant.
“It may not be the best way to resolve differences, but the party been patient and lenient for some time,” said spokesman Kurauone Chihwayi.
“It’s always important to work together as like-minded forces. We cannot comment much about events in other parties, but it remains our dream to see pro-democracy forces working together.
“The MDC Alliance is a people’s project that cannot be dented by the departure or absence of an individual. Its game on in the MDC Alliance.”