Tsvangirai placates Khupe

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has appointed his deputy Thokozani Khupe acting president while he recovers from his current illness in a move widely seen as mending relations between the two heavyweights who have been at loggerheads over the party’s alliance with fringe political parties.

Tsvangirai has taken medical leave to recover from a yet-to-be disclosed illness which saw him being airlifted to South  Africa recently amid claims that his health had deteriorated.

“He is suffering from cancer of the colon but it is not clear if the emergency trip to South Africa was a result of complications arising from his condition.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed Khupe’s temporary presidency.

“She’s the acting president. As you know… Khupe resides in Bulawayo but she frequently travels to and from Harare to conduct party and parliamentary business,” said Gutu.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure described the move to make Khupe the acting president as “smart”.

“It is likely to mellow in favour of the coalition because Khupe will realise that she has been recognised as the most senior of the vice presidents based on the reality that she is an elected official anyway so it makes good politics (sense) on the part of Tsvangirai,” Masunugure said.

“If you are a leader and you are given responsibilities you have to look at the trajectory the party is taking and you follow the direction of the wind.

“Khupe will realise that Tsvangirai was not up to any Machiavellian maneuvers to  placate her but that he is being realistic in recognising Khupe’s  position and for that, she will soften her stance to show leadership,” he added.

Tsvangirai and Khupe had been rowing ever since the  dogged former labour union leader announced that he had formed an MDC Alliance that included his former two secretaries-general — Welshman  Ncube and Tendai Biti — as well as five other parties.

Khupe and other officials opposed to the MDC Alliance who include national chairperson Lovemore Moyo and Abednico Bhebhe boycotted the launch of  the MDC Alliance both in Harare and Bulawayo, respectively.

Relations had already been soured by the violence which occurred between the Harare and Bulawayo launches which was orchestrated by suspected party yobs.

Attempts to let Khupe and Tsvangirai bury the hatchet, have so far been not successful as the former was not keen on meeting her leader in Harare for fear of a repeat of violence which left her injured  during the bloody clashes at her offices in Bulawayo on August 6.

Comments (9)

Appointing Khuphe was not smart as Eldred alludes. It was the logical choice and any dum dumwould have done the same. Again it is not a given that Khuphe will of necessity follow through the trajectory the party is taking. As acting party boss she may take it in a different direction as long as she gets a buy in from those she leads. So lets wait and see because i am sure there are more mdc guys who are not thrilled about the alliance.

Tom - 26 September 2017

Save musacheuke muridzo ngwarirai mabasa ezanu, fambai baba vedu tiende dzamara tatora nyika yedu.Tsvangirai gamba renyika ino kwatakabva naye kurefu. Isu samachinja takatevera ,Ncube naSibanda vakasara. Takasiya vachingokakavadzana nenyaya yeammendment act.

Larry Hoover - 26 September 2017

Tsvangirai imhondoro yenyika ino, kwatakabva naye kurefu........ Kwakauya hondo yeminda ndokuzouyawo tsunami, vana vaana Gono vairara, kana nechikoro vaidzidza. Isu vedu vana vachitambudzika chero pekutsamira musoro

Chematama - 26 September 2017

Tsvangirayi has done the correct thing to appoint Khupe acting president. This is not placating Khupe, as your headline suggests. Tsvangirayi is merely abiding by party rules and laid down procedures. No mischief, no hidden agenda. If I may ask, what are vice presidents for? Aren't they put in those positions because they have shown qualities and skills of leadership and management? I do not doubt Khupe's sincerety, loyalty, leadership and management qualities. She deserves to be where she is, and is doing a great job. ANA MUGOVE, nyorai NEWS, NOT SENSATIONS!

Will Blackman - 26 September 2017

Aiwa President Tsvangirai vakagona, he was very diplomatic, smart and accommodative. Kana pana advisor akamuudza akagona. HATS OFF TO THE ADVISOR AND TSVANGIRAI AND THE WHOLE PARTY.

PHD - 27 September 2017

This move was long overdue, Khupe is the elected vice president of the MDC T. And when the President is incapacitated by health or other the vice must naturally takeover the reigns. Others are handpicked/appointed thats dictatorial not democratic.

Sinyo - 27 September 2017

This clearly shows this man is a natural leader and very confident we salute him .All problems disappear disappear .from the big tent chesa mpaaaama

Diibulaanyika - 27 September 2017

Tsvangirai has proved that he is a democrat by following his party's constitution , Madam Khupe is an officially elected vice president so she is the best candidate to take over or act as president whenever the president is not on duty , this will also give Khupe the confidence in the party and to develop as a good leader . Hats off tho SAVE hope Mugabe is learning from Tsvangirai.

MUDHARA - 28 September 2017

I'd say; in order that the foundering alliance may flourish. The two need to consolidate gains made so far in the "fence-mending" exercise. Besides; there is need to completely cut loose from the Biti - Mujuru duo, who apparently have hidden agendas which could prove damaging to any successful attempts at unity.

Essexvale - 18 October 2017

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