By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THOKOZANI Khupe’s MDC-T has enough muscle to thrash both Zanu PF and Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance in by-elections expected soon following the recall of four MDC Alliance MPs.
The claim was made by reinstated MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora who initiated the recall early this month.
Mwonzora, Khupe, senators Morgen Komichi and Elias Mudzuri are riding the crest with renewed enthusiasm after Supreme Court judges on March 31 ruled that Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of the MDC.
The court ordered the installation of Khupe, the party’s former vice president to the position of acting president in preparation of the extraordinary congress within three months.
Congress has been set for July 31.
Armed with the Supreme Court ruling, Mwonzora immediately recalled MPs Charlton Hwende, Thabitha Khumalo Lilian Timveous and Prosper Mutseyami claiming the senior politicians had since ceased to be members of the MDC-T after they voluntarily left and joined the MDC Alliance.
In line with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and Electoral Act laws, by-elections are imminent in two of the constituencies formerly occupied by the expelled MPs.
These are Kuwadzana East formerly held by Hwende and Mutseyami’s Chikanga/Dangamvura.
Khumalo and Timveous were appointed through proportional representatives and their replacements will be hand-picked by Khupe and Mwonzora.
In a recent interview, Mwonzora said his political outfit was ready for the elections and would soundly beat Zanu PF and MDC Alliance.
“Once of course we have recalled people, we will replace them. So we are going to replace Senator Timveous, we are going to replace Hon. Thabitha Khumalo,” Mwonzora told NewZimbabwe.com.
“We will invite ZEC to do that, this will be done after we have done the necessary consultations.”
On the by-elections, he said he was confident of MDC-T’s win in the two constituencies, which have been MDC strongholds since the formation of the party in 1999.
“Let me also say that we are prepared to go for by-elections. We are prepared for by-elections and we will win them,” a buoyant Mwonzora said.
In 2018, Khupe contested in the presidential election and came a distant third behind arch-rivals, Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Two years later, Chamisa still insists ZEC rigged the election in favour of Mnangagwa despite the Constitutional Court dismissing his claims.
The two by-elections, according to the Electoral Act, must be held before mid-August this year barring a High Court challenge filed by the expelled MPs contesting their expulsions.
Judgment on the High Court application is expected this coming Friday.
Last week, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi dismissed speculation the Zanu PF led government was planning to amend the Constitution to defer holding of by-elections and form a unity government with a number pliant opposition leaders, including the reinstated MDC-T politicians.