Khupe Still Party Leader, Engaging Madhuku Over Mwonzora’s ‘Poll Theft’

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

EMBATTLED MDC-T former interim leader Thokozani Khupe is still in charge of the opposition party and waiting for legal opinion from her lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, her spokesperson has confirmed.

Khupe Sunday tried in vain to stop delegates attending the party’s chaotic extraordinary congress from voting accusing former interim secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora of rigging the process.

Khupe, Mwonzora, Morgen Komichi and Elias Mudzuri were the presidential candidates in a poll to elect a new leader to replace the late founding president Morgan Tsvangirai who died in 2018.

Mwonzora went on declare himself winner, but other candidates had already walked out of the venue at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) in protest.

Addressing a media briefing at a local hotel in Harare Tuesday, MDC-T faction spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni insisted Khupe was still in charge and consulting lawyers.

“Prof Lovemore Madhuku as our legal counsel said he has spoken to Madam President (Khupe) and there is a general agreement that there is a legal opinion coming, which legal opinion will guide leadership going forward with regards to the EOC (extraordinary congress) and also most of the things that emitted from that national council,” he told journalists.

“The NC (national council) condemns the ill-discipline exhibited by some members of the party and is calling all to observe moderate behaviour which is in conformity with the founding values and principles of the party.

“The national council notes with disdain the behaviour of some of our top leadership in the party during the run-up and during the extraordinary congress.”

Phugeni added: “The National Council endorses and upholds the decision made by the acting president to suspend the EOC since it became clear with the violence that there was manipulation of the voters’ roll, that it was not possible to hold a free and fair process.”

He also denounced the so-called EOC resolutions circulating from Mwonzora camp on social media.

“We accordingly dismiss them as a nullity and they have no effect on whatever discussion and resolution made by the national council.”

Khalipani also defended his faction for holding press conferences away from party’s headquarters Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House better known as Harvest House.

“Dr. Khupe is still in control of the party, but I think everyone knows that there is a dispute and it is that dispute which our top lawyer (Madhuku) said he is writing the legal opinion on that,” Phugeni said.

“The party attempted to hold an EOC in fulfilment of the (Supreme) Court judgment, but everyone saw what happened and that it why it was impossible to hold a free and fair election.”