INTERIM MDC-T President Thokozani Khupe has shifted a geared up in attempts to grow her dominance over rival Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance and is now courting opposition political party leaders who are part of the Alliance.
It emerged at the weekend that the former deputy prime minister was also in talks with other political groupings that do not form part of the Alliance as she forges an electoral pact ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The targeted Alliance partners were former principals in the MDC Alliance which faced Zanu PF in the 2018 general election.
NewZimbabwe.com has it on good authority that Khupe’s political outfit has already secured the support of three MDC Alliance principals.
These are; Transform Zimbabwe president Jacob Ngarivhume, Zanu Ndonga leader Denford Musiyarira and Mathisa Guchutu of the Multiracial Christian Democracy (MCD).
A senior MDC-T official confirmed the three had planned to have their inaugural meeting with Khupe last Saturday, but the meeting failed after Ngarivhume excused himself saying he had an urgent business to attend to out of Harare.
“The meeting was supposed to take place in Harare on Saturday last week, but it could not happen because of Ngarivhume’s absenteeism,” the source said.
“In fact, he sent through an excuse and asked for a postponement of the meeting on the basis that he had travelled outside Harare on an emergency and the meeting was duly rescheduled to early next month.”
Contacted for comment MDC-T national chairperson Morgen Komichi confirmed the development.
“Yes, it is true that we are courting all opposition parties with the view of forming a grand coalition to contest in the 2023 election and we have already had discussions with some principals and they are excited about it,” Komichi said.
“We basically want to review the Alliance pact of 2017 and see how we can move forward from there since the elections are drawing closer.”
Asked whether they would be inviting Khupe’s arch-rival Nelson Chamisa, who fronts the MDC Alliance party, Komichi said: “The MDC Alliance is not a political party as the courts have ruled and, therefore, they have been left out.
“We however hope that people like Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube will be able to bring their parties to the alliance once they sort their issues there.”
The move by Khupe is largely seen as an attempt to frustrate Chamisa, with whom she has had a huge fallout since the death of former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.
The two fought over control of the party, with Chamisa emerging triumphant.
However, Khupe, who claims to be the legitimate leader of the country’s main opposition party, has fought the case in the courts, which have ruled that she indeed was the legitimate interim leader.
Soon after the Supreme Court ruling, MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora recalled four MDC Alliance MPs from Parliament advising Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Mabel Chinomona that the senior officials had ceased to be MDC-T members.
The affected MPs are; Charlton Hwende, Thabitha Khumalo, Lilian Timveous and Prosper Mutseyami. They are appealing against the expulsion with the courts.
Two weeks ago, Khupe got access to Harvest House, also known as Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, the MDC headquarters in Harare, after she sought the assistance of the police and army to drive Chamisa’s Alliance out of the building.
Other partners in the MDC Alliance are; People First, Zanu PF’s G40 members; the People’s Democratic Party, led by Biti and MDC led by Ncube. However, Biti, Ncube, and their teams have been fiercely fighting in Chamisa’s corner.