Mujuru, Khupe accused in plot to oust Tsvangirai

HARARE - With the clock ticking towards make-or-break harmonised polls next year, the MDC has been plunged into another hair-raising conspiracy linking some of its top officials to a plot to block Morgan Tsvangirai from leading a grand coalition against President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

The MDC president, who has led the country’s largest opposition party since its formation in 1999, is facing resistance from two fronts, which has polluted the atmosphere under which the grand coalition would be negotiated.

On the one hand, is a group of MDC Members of Parliament who are mobilising the electorate in their constituencies to vote against Tsvangirai at the synchronised polls, while voting for aspiring councillors and lawmakers fronting the 18-year-old party.

Yet another plot involving a lobby among women cutting across opposition political parties is thickening as they seek to build consensus around a woman who could lead the grand coalition.

Tsvangirai’s backers have been quick to point accusing fingers at the MDC leader’s deputy, Thokozani Khupe, whom they suspect to have teamed up with National People’s Party (NPP) leader, Joice Mujuru, to block the former trade unionist’s bid to lead the mooted coalition.

Last Friday, MDC officials tried to block a women gathering in Bulawayo where Mujuru was officiating, fearing that the gathering could be used to de-campaign Tsvangirai.

This comes as Mujuru has stoked tensions within the opposition rank and file by seemingly making statements that suggest Tsvangirai lacks the profile of leading the much-talked about electoral alliance.

Last week, Mujuru punted herself to lead the envisaged grand coalition, at the same time seemingly questioning the suitability of Tsvangirai to front the mooted alliance as she promoted her candidacy during a meeting with her supporters in Zvimba, Mashonaland West.

Tsvangirai’s backers have been angered by Khupe’s participation at the Women Electoral Convergence (Wec) meeting in Bulawayo last Friday, a day before the former prime minister held his rally in Gweru, amid concerns that the gathering would act as a counter-attraction.

The party dispatched its deputy national spokesperson and Bulawayo East legislator Tabitha Khumalo to mobilise against the meeting but it failed.

MDC insiders allege that there could be a deal between Mujuru and Khupe reached during their trip to Dubai, allowing the NPP leader to use their structures in the provinces she has been touring to mobilise women to register and vote for next year’s elections.

Mujuru and Khupe have been to South Africa, the United States and United Arab Emirates on business trips, which MDC rivals say confirm their suspicions.

Wec is a non-party specific platform which is being driven by women politicians drawn from different political parties to encourage the feminine gender to register and vote for next year’s elections.

Apart from mobilising for voter registration, Wec is also advocating for increase in the number of women who hold political office.

Wec coordinator and legislator, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, said the accusations emanating from MDC were not surprising as they fit into the stereotype that women cannot lead.

“The reason why I laughed is because it is predictable from a gender perspective; men are very uncomfortable when they see women doing things they cannot take part in.

“We were very clear that is the likely response that men would come with, we engaged the leaders and he (Tsvangirai) was there before we had our meeting in Pretoria,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga told the Daily News.

“Let me make it clear we are concerned about two things, mobilising women to go and vote and making sure that women in various political formations can have equal representation. As far as I am concerned, they cannot be anyone who is supportive like Tsvangirai himself but anyone who wants to kill an initiative can only be part of the system.

“I think Zimbabwe is ready for any president male or female. Zimbabwe is ready for anyone who is not Robert Mugabe, people are not concerned whether the person is female or male, people just want anybody who can depart from Mugabe,” she added.

Khupe was not available for comment as her sister said she was not taking calls for three days as she was defending her PhD project.

The director of information in NPP Simbarashe Nyanhanga said Mujuru was committed to the mooted coalition and would not work to undermine Tsvangirai.

“The convergence is celebrated countrywide and we celebrate people like Thokozani Khupe as a worthy leader. She has represented herself well.

“It would be ridiculous for anyone to think otherwise, there is nowhere we can try to remove Tsvangirai. Our leader is committed to the MoU and would never consider any other way of handling politics other than working together in a coalition,” said Nyanhanga.

There are also growing suspicions within the party that some officials could be plotting an internal rebellion — Bhora Musango — like what happened to Mugabe and Zanu PF in the 2008 elections.

Well-placed sources within MDC told the Daily News at the weekend that there were real concerns within the party that some of its officials could be working with Zanu PF to scuttle Tsvangirai’s bid in next year’s crunch polls.

One of the insiders claimed that so wary had Tsvangirai himself become that he had allegedly warned during a meeting with his party’s Harare provincial executive last week about “enemies from within” who were working with Zanu PF under a programme dubbed “Operation Sesekedza” — under which some legislators and councillors apparently intended to campaign for themselves only, while working to ensure that the former trade union leader lost next year’s presidential election.

Contacted for comment, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said those who were unwilling to support Tsvangirai “should quit” the party.

“If there is anyone who isn’t happy with the leadership of president Tsvangirai then that person is a saboteur who should simply ship out. We don’t want any wolves dressed in sheep’s clothes in the MDC,” Gutu said.

But another party insider, while confirming that Tsvangirai had indeed raised the issue, claimed that the MDC leader was being misled by some of his close lieutenants who felt that when he appointed Nelson Chamisa as one of his current three deputies he was putting in place his succession plan.

“There is a war brewing among the three VPs, as well as with other ambitious leaders in the standing committee, with some feeling that if Tsvangirai wins the next election he is likely to hand over the baton later to Chamisa and thereby shattering their dreams of one day becoming party leader,” the MDC national executive member said.

This comes as the MDC has also warned its prospective coalition partners that it is keeping its eyes “wide open” to avoid carrying suspected Zanu PF “spies” into the eagerly-awaited grand alliance which will take Mugabe head-on in next year’s polls.

Tsvangirai and leaders of the smaller opposition parties who include Mujuru and his one-time secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, have signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs), as the opposition finalises steps to form the much-talked about electoral alliance.

“It may be concluded that if the opposition resolves internal questions and hold together until 2018 it represents a momentous development in Zimbabwe’s political history.

“If it maintains the support of civil society, it could lead one of the broad-based movements against the government ever seen. It is also important to highlight that Zimbabweans put their trust more in a bigger opposition force,” Gutu told the Daily News.

“On the other hand, while a coalition should be inclusive, it does not mean every party which claims to be an opposition party deserves a place in the grand coalition.

“Apart from opportunists, there are also infiltrators who will seek space in order to infiltrate and destabilise the coalition.

“Parties must demonstrate what they bring to the grand coalition beyond their names and leaders. It should also be noted that whilst a grand coalition is important, it is not the silver bullet for opposition parties,” Gutu added.

It is not the first time that Tsvangirai has had to fight for his political life.

When the MDC first split in 2005, Tsvangirai survived an internal rebellion by some of his officials who were instrumental in the formation of the party in 1999.

That rebellion saw Ncube, Gibson Sibanda and others walking away from Tsvangirai to form another MDC formation.

Then came the fallout between the MDC leader and Tendai Biti in 2014, which has given rise to the emergence of fringe parties such as the People’s Democratic Party, under the former MDC secretary-general, and the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, led by Elton Mangoma who, along with Biti, engineered the split.

While Tsvangirai has remained on top of the crest each time his party has splintered, the disintegration has had the effect of weakening the MDC’s challenge against Zanu PF.

Comments (24)

Zanu pf had done its homework through their CIO , army , rural councils etc. Somehow I suspect , they have realised that they won't make it if the coalition succeed. Therefore with every thing at their disposal , for any rigging to work properly , the opposition coalition must not materialise. An opposition coalition will ensure high voter turn out and its practically very difficult if not impossible for rigging to work or to manipulate the result if voter turn out is high.

Chinyemu - 13 June 2017

zvimbwasungata.Tsvangirai is Mdc&no one can challenge that

Matsotsi - 13 June 2017

MDC T must beware of the Hunters who fight for and start to vigorously claim for the parts ye nyama ye mhuka even before the hunting process begins. They are called, THE DISTRACTORS.

Sekuru Ndoronga - 13 June 2017

Women president and her vice is good. Who can vote for some-one with leukaemia cancer for president unless if blind or mentally retarded.

Dog-master - 13 June 2017

Its better to vote for someone with cancer than to vote for some 93 old fool who doesn't even know weather it is day or night.

Miti - 13 June 2017

It is almost certain that a united opposition will topple the repressive regime currently in power and hence the diabolic game being put into motion by the ruining party to scuttle this noble grand coalition which is suppose to bring true freedom and independence to the suffering populace in Zimbabwe. People have had enough of this man made disaster brought about by the thieving politicians and their sidekicks.

Madhunamutuna - 13 June 2017

Iwe Dog-master, urikurasika papi? I thoughy people including yourself have suffered enough under the Mugabe government it is better to vote for cancer person who can pass on the button to someone young that the 94 year old.

mabhenga frank - 13 June 2017

Anyone can be voted into power if only the playfield is free and fair. Let this be established and you wi?l see who doesn't deserve to be an authenticated leader of Zimbabwe. Why point figures where its not necessary.Unworthy leaders trife on falsehood, rigging, intimidation, corruption, nepotism - clinging to power even beyond their life span. Come out un the open and be caurageous to face democratic princples and accept the people's will. You will be ashamed when the masses of Zimbabwe anounce that enough is enough of rubbish.

Pythias Makonese - 13 June 2017

VANORASIKA RASIKAI ZVENYU AT LAT MUNETES KHUPE DO NOT GET FOOLED BY MUJURU ..... LAST MUNETES KHUPE UNOGONA KUSHANDISWA WOBUDA MULINE ZVAKAMBOITA BITI ZVIYA ,,,,IWE URIPAKANAKA MUJURU ANODA KUBVISA IWE IYE WOKWANA KWANA.....MORGON RECHARD TSVANGIRAI HAMUMUGONI MACHEPA I BET YOU NEVER EVER ......VANA KHUPE MABUDA....ISU WE NEED MR RECHARD MORGON TSVANGIRAI TO LEAD THE WHAT AGREEMENT OR COALATION AS YOU CAN CALL IT AND THEN AFTER MESS YOU WILL BE AWARDED EVEN GIVE THAT BATON AFTER TO THE DESERVING PERSON IN A NEW ZIMBABWE....VANA MUJURU AT THE MOMENT WE DO NOT TRUST YOU .....PAYA PAMAKAISA MA CIO KU ZUMU YA EDGAR TEKERE MOTO WANHU WAKANGANWA HERE AT DAY BEFORE GENERAL ELECTIONS ...DIFERENT VOICES WRE ANNOUNCING THAT ZUMU IS NO MORE....DESTROYING PARTY A DAY BEFORE ELECTIONS WHEN VOTER ARE READY TO GO AND VOTE THE FOLLOWING DAY.SO VANA MUJURU APA HAMUPINDIBA MURIKUROTA HOPE.....ZVAMUNGAITA MUNO COMPAIGNERA VATSVANGIRA KANA WAWINA WACHIONA BASA RAMUNENGE MAITA KANA VACHIDA VOKUPAI NEVAMWE MATONGA KANA KUKUPAIZVIGARO ZVAPAMUSORO KANA MASHANDA KWETE ZVEKUTUNGAMIRA OPPOSITION YAMAKAJOINA NEZURO ....ATFUNE AMAFEKEZULO.VELE AT VATEMBI ......MA CIO HAMUNYARI BHORA PASI VANE VEVHU..

dofo - 13 June 2017

CIO BHORA PASI INGAWANI TOSE TINOTAMBURA WANI....THIS TIME BHORA PASIN MWANA VEVHU KUNYIKA DZESE TONGORAMBA TAKASHORWA HERE...LETS BE VANA VEVHU..IF YOU INFLUENCE BAD DECISIONS EVEN AMAI WAKO ,TETE KANA WANA WAKO TESE TIRIKUTAMBURA SAKA PAFUNGEI WAKOMA...NEVER INFLUENCE BAD DECISION TO TAKE PLACE BECAUSE OF MONEY.....HAVE HUMANITY VALUES PLEASE I BEG YOU.

dofo - 13 June 2017

Dog-master is a real dog-master for sure. Please retreat and go manage dog affairs

Mukanya waSvosve - 13 June 2017

Itz now completely clear that if ths monister called Tsvangirai its supporters will come to power, our nation will be completely worse off.It doesn't accept n one other than itself into power-just as good as the present regime of Mugabe-is completely undemocratic.Itz completely clear-you have heard clearly what spokesman Gutu has said, he intends to fire n one within the party who challenge Tsvangirai to the presidency of the party & obviously the country-a clear sign this a bunch of dictators intending to impose on the people once they come to power.All the talk of change&democracy is only manipulative.What they don't understand is that once MDC is not advertising democracy they don't win elections even in urban areas & the youth.While Tsvangirai has a right to be elected to the presidency of this country,he is the most unlikely person to be with the ability to deliver our nation to Canaan-is clearly sending out a bad signal that he can not allow n one else other than himself as a leader& has tuned his group to believe the same.As per Gutu's statement you can fired fr th MDC for challenging Tsvangirai to the presidency or even for suggesting that the president must retire-just like what happened to Mavhaire in zanu pf

addmore gudo - 13 June 2017

Mujuru's trait and record in Poeple First project, AND as ZANU member and official in the Gukurahundi era DOES NOT bode well for a "formidable" coalition partner. There is lots of confusion surrounding her, and its smells ZANUISH.. Ngaa CHINJE MAITIRO!!

Will Blackman - 13 June 2017

let us open our eyes,again Mujuru could be a costly coalition member.She cant be so power hungry,coming from a repressive regime where she worked with vigor and mighty to repress and oppress the masses.She must take notes from those who were in the trenches for long.she is suspicious zanu pf project for mugabe to win then she goes back to join her part

gilo - 14 June 2017

Onward and upward Morgan! Don't listen to the detractors. They are obviously desperate to stop the rise of the MDC T.

Bee - 14 June 2017

Onward and upward Morgan! Don't listen to the detractors. They are obviously desperate to stop the rise of the MDC T.

Bee - 14 June 2017

Onward and upward Morgan! Don't listen to the detractors. They are obviously desperate to stop the rise of the MDC T.

Bee - 14 June 2017

Coalition inemusoro ndeyema 2 MDCs chete. Zvimwe siyanai nazvo. Endai kumaruwa, kumaruzevha, kumachonyonyo munoratidza vanhu chiedza. Muri kupedza nguva muchiita zvisinabasa.

Butika - 14 June 2017

Petty politics in Zimbabwe akomana! So are we saying MT should lead indefinitely? Without challenge, without scrutiny? Don't you think this is what gave us RGM? I see no harm in these leaders having leadership contests to see if the people are 100% behind MT. If he is fit to lead, his support will come to the fore. We can't say he is the best because no one is allowed to challenge him. I don't know why this is lost on so many generations of Zimbabweans. Kunzi nhingi ndiye ega anozvigona. Then later on we cry about leaders who don't step down. Personally, I think MT will do himself a measure of great good if he nominates someone else to take over from him right now. but we all know what Africans do once in power.

Kwidz - 14 June 2017

Miti is a fool at its best. Compare age and kenza and additionally stupidity. Just google about stupid mistakes by Tsvangy and you will be shocked and die disappointed as fruitless tree you are. You must be a dhorofiya Muti ine unye

Dog -master - 14 June 2017

Mukanya wasvosve maybe nderiya rinonhuwa -gange-mukange svosve dema. Using that pseudo-name does not mean what I am you svosve. I am better than what your kenza affected ass can believe

Dog-trainer - 14 June 2017

Mujuru must demonstrate that she can lead her new party for 18 months before she attempts a coup on Mr Tsvangirai's 18 yrs of leadership of our beloved MDC. ZPF fragmented before it was born. Wat gives her the audacity to stand on her hind legs to hijack the people's project that once defeated the ZANU Pf machinery. President Tsvangirai must not be intimidated by threats of the military or any of the tentacles of the oppressive ZANU machinery. We the majority must choose our leader and not be forced into compromises by a fearful minority who hv become satiated by drinking the blood of the majority. Mujuru can go hang. Viva MDC and President tsvangirai with his trusted lieutenants, we r with u all the way!!

Mhepoyenzara - 14 June 2017

Tsvangirai ndizvo, he might not be the best but before God and Man, he deserves the "Stone Throne" Ngaambopinde aporonge for five years dzake. The man has done much more than a million of us armchair politicians have contributed towards the struggle.

Silent River - 17 June 2017

in 1999 the seed of change was sown into the ground, we sow its germination. now its time for the fruits come 2018 Save kustate house Tsvangirai our best foot foward.

Allan Chinewaita - 1 July 2017

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