MDC-T factions in messy fight for name

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A NEW frontier in the fight for control of the MDC-T has emerged, this time over the name of the opposition party.

The MDC-T split yet again following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February which triggered a violent fight between then vice presidents Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa prevailed but was accused of using violence that left bloody scenes in Bulawayo and Buhera during Tsvangirai’s burial.

Khupe and her loyalists have since been expelled from the party by Chamisa’s group.

Party acting national chairperson Morgen Komichi said Monday that his faction would retain the MDC-T name.

“We are not going to be forced to change our name from MDC-T because it carries the legacy of our late president Tsvangirai.

“We have heard that Honourable Khupe is insisting on using the same name, but we will find a way around this situation,” said Komichi.

With just a few months before general elections expected in July, Khupe has declared her candidature under the banner of the MDC-T while Chamisa is also not backing down.

While Khupe’s faction which includes fired spokesperson Obert Gutu was not forthcoming with comment on the matter, Komichi suggested the Chamisa faction might have a fall-back position.

“We were in the same situation in 2005 when Welshman Ncube (MDC leader) broke away and we managed to navigate through this. We have a plan, but it is yet to be ratified by the national council then we can make it public,” the MDC-T acting chairperson said.

Khupe, Gutu and organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe were expelled from the party last week after refusing to acknowledge Chamisa as the new leader.

The situation was compounded by the resignation of long serving national chairman Lovemore Moyo who accused Chamisa of violating the party’s constitution on his way to the top.

Khupe was not immediately available for comment but she is already distributing her campaign posters bearing the MDC-T logo.

There are also fears that the fresh internal fights rocking the MDC-T might split the opposition vote and favour Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa in the presidential election.