Khupe speaks on Chamisa's move

HARARE - MDC vice president Thokozani Khupe yesterday poured scorn on the party’s national council’s decision to name Nelson Chamisa as successor to Morgan Tsvangirai.

Khupe broke her silence for the first time since she publicly opposed Tsvangirai’s plan for an opposition Alliance to take on Emmerson Mnangagwa at the forthcoming polls.

Tsvangirai’s longest serving deputy said the national council meeting that enthroned Chamisa at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare was “unAfrican, uncultured and barbaric” and brought out the worst in the MDC.

This comes after Chamisa, 40, was chosen to lead the country’s largest opposition party, which was thrown into crisis by the death of the former prime minister in South Africa on Wednesday.

Tsvangirai had battled against colon cancer since 2016.

The decision to enthrone Chamisa was made by the national council — the MDC’s highest decision-making body in between congresses.

Of the 215 members in the national council, 190 attended the emotive meeting.

“Chamisa has been appointed to act in place of Morgan Tsvangirai for a period of 12 months, which is in line with the constitution of the party, so he is the president of the party,” vice national chairperson Morgen Komichi told reporters on Thursday.

Khupe and another MDC vice president Elias Mudzuri boycotted the national council meeting in a move that betrayed the intensifying infighting in the opposition party.

Khupe said she was not amused with the haste in which Chamisa moved to seize power.

Earlier, Khupe had clashed with Chamisa in angry scenes at Tsvangirai’s Highlands mansion, with the confrontation stunning mourners.

Khupe reportedly fumed at Chamisa, accusing him of being “power-hungry”.

“May I state on good authority that the family and indeed the majority of the party leadership stands distanced from any and all of the disturbing cheap politics we have witnessed since the passing on of president Tsvangirai,” Khupe said in a damning statement yesterday.

“As a deputy president who unanimously received her mandate to serve as president Tsvangirai’s second-in-charge at our 2014 MDC national congress, I would have failed in my duty and in reverence of his memory if I did not call to order the misguided comrades behind these unAfrican, uncultured and barbaric chain of events that have sought to draw attention away from the tragic loss to our party and country.”

Khupe said she would like to appeal to all party members, organs, and the people of Zimbabwe to “focus on the responsibility of preserving the memory of our departed founding president, and to calmly wait for further information on how we will proceed with the journey to the final resting place for the late president Tsvangirai.”

“This information will be made available by Tsvangirai’s family and I on our return from South Africa,” she said.

Khupe, who issued the statement as MDC vice president and leader of the opposition in the Parliament of Zimbabwe, said she was in South Africa to organise the repatriation of Tsvangirai’s body back home.

“I profusely apologise to all who may have been offended by the uncharacteristic representation of our party at such a time as this, and wish to assure the nation that MDC is guided by a constitution that was born in a Zimbabwean cultural context of Ubuntu/Hunhu — that sacred age-old code of self-dignity and respect for the departed,” she said.

Khupe said: “I left Zimbabwe this morning and have arrived in South Africa as I continue to work with the family in giving our fallen gallant hero a befitting farewell. Hopefully, we will be able to repatriate the body of the late Right Honourable . . . Tsvangirai back home in the next day or two.”

Relations between Tsvangirai and Khupe soured in 2016 when the late veteran leader appointed two additional vice presidents — Chamisa and Mudzuri.

The move was widely interpreted as a no-confidence declaration by Tsvangirai in his long-serving deputy, who heightened the stand-off by opposing the now late MDC leader’s legacy project for an MDC Alliance, arguing the MDC does not need an Alliance to win an election in the three Matabeleland provinces, sentiments that made her a force to reckon with among like-minded party faithful who include influential figures such as Lovemore Moyo, the party’s national chairperson and Abednico Bhebhe, its national organising secretary.

MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, who is rooting for Mudzuri to take over, has threatened to call an extraordinary congress after Tsvangirai’s burial to choose a new leader for the party.

He said he tried to stop the national council meeting but was snubbed.

Mudzuri has secured the support of Tsvangirai’s main family members.

On Monday, the so-called Order of The Vanguard — a militant youth group — stopped the former Harare mayor from addressing a press conference at Harvest House.

Since then, the Harvard-trained engineer has been conducting his business from Tsvangirai’s Highlands mansion and insists he is the acting MDC president.

Chamisa has, on the other hand, captured Harvest House.

Yesterday, Chamisa’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka responded angrily to Khupe’s scathing statement, saying there was nothing unAfrican about the national council conclave.

“The national council met and took binding resolutions,” Tamborinyoka told the Daily News.

“All we are concentrating on now is giving the president a send-off befitting his dignity and stature. Anything else is an unnecessary sideshow. Brand Tsvangirai does not deserve all this. It’s very African to meet when you have a bereavement of an icon such as . . . Tsvangirai.”

According to the MDC constitution, the national council can convene to pick a new leader.

Article 18 of the amended MDC constitution, under Powers of the National Council, says: “The national council, notwithstanding anything contained herein shall have the absolute discretion of determining the manner and process of any selection, including the power of making any appointment for any position.”

Chamisa claimed in a statement yesterday that the MDC “has deployed vice president  . . . Khupe to South Africa to collaborate with the family and work towards the repatriation of the body of our hero, president Tsvangirai.”

“I will remain at the president’s residence with some members of the Tsvangirai family to receive dignitaries and other mourners who will grace our president’s family home in honour of this gallant patriot,” Chamisa said.

He said following the decision of the national council yesterday, he has set up a special committee in charge of logistics and other matters to do with the funeral.

Led by the party’s deputy national chairperson, Komichi, the committee also comprises deputy secretary-general Paurina Mpariwa, deputy organising secretary Amos Chibaya, national youth chairperson Happymore Chidziva and national women’s assembly chairperson Karenyi-Kore.

It will work in close liaison with the Tsvangirai family.


Comments (16)

Chamisa is the only wrong person in the saga;should have waited until Tsvangirai's burial in consultation with the other VPs to convene the so called national council meeting to start the proper selection process of the new leader-where all are in agreement;now he has already shown lack of visionary leadership by listening to the youth mobs.He has already lost the vision of the united MDC-T, since all the disgruntled members will separate with the emerging factions.He shld hv waited for an agreeble process for party to remain united & win at elections

addmore gudo - 17 February 2018

Madam Khupe you are right and you are wrong when Tsvangirai needed you waitiza you didn`t support his vision and mission instead yo ridiculed him why visit him now when he is gone why want to succeed him now you lost the plot go away mhani

johngorowa - 17 February 2018

As much as Chamisa is wrong Khupe also is wrong coz she is more interested now more than when MT was still alive . She used to run away from MT meetings .that serves Khupe .MDC is not a family party it is a national party ,programes don't stop because the boss is nomore the party has to move on

lobengula - 18 February 2018

MDC is not a Tshwangirai Family Party please do not destroy our party. Go to Buhera home and and fight your family issues.

Slim Cat - 18 February 2018

If I was Elizabeth I was going to get a court order and barring order for all these mad family members not to attend the funeral. It's high time families should respect marriages.

Slim Cat - 18 February 2018

madam khupe, you are nothing but a zanupf whore. just please dont disturb the process. weather you like it or not u will not get support of zimbabweans. go and join mujuru. stupid lady

ZAKA JERERA - 18 February 2018

khupe and mudzuri you are loosers. why making noise. you are zanupf agents. we know you guys and you will not succeed on your agenda. chamisa is the best candidate on the absence of save

dendera kings - 18 February 2018

khupe pliz just help us by remain quite coz u r nothing in zim politics

khupe hure - 18 February 2018

Khupe is insane , she was refusing to meet Save when he was alive , now wants to pretend as if she loves him , God forbid . Khupe is evil she must not come near the body of Save , haanyare kutobudisa misodzi , she must be the one who is working with Zanu PF and Manyonda family . Chamisa was working with Tsvangirai and he didn't defy him to the last day and Chamisa is a founding member of MDC , Khupe and Mudzuri are juniors to Chamisa , Mudzuri knows well what he was told by Tsvangirai about Chamisa . Zimbabweans , we are now intelligent enough especially when it comes to Zanu PF propaganda , when Zanu PF makes the noise we know that there is something wrong , ED is afraid of Chamisa , why mixing politics and family matters , that's cheap politics .

Mudhara - 19 February 2018

Mudhara. It is not true that Mnangagwa is afraid of Chamisa. Zanu PF has never had it so easy at the polls. There is virtually no opposition to talk about.

mdawini mkhosi - 19 February 2018

please spare us your tribal wars MDC people and learn to observe the constitution. you tell people you are a government in waiting yet you cannot observe a constitutional issue how much more are you going to do wrong for the sake of power

nqabeni nkala - 19 February 2018

Madam Khupe and ENG Mudzuri, anyone who it supporting you right now belongs to the Zanupf. Prof Ncube confirmed that he was instructed by Tsvangirai to make sure that he guides Chamisa to make sure that the Alliance wins the election. So be warned that 190 out 215 endorsed Chamisa's candidature should we have the congress You will discover that no one will vote for you even yourselves. Other poltical parties are supporting you because they know that you are not popular to the electorate so please stop wasting our time otherwise we the people we want the original MDC back

EBBIE - 19 February 2018

Khupe and |Mudzuri MUST keep quiet. otherwise they are disturbing our process for change. They have been paid handsomely by ZANU PF to disturb whta this country deserves. If surely they are serious about a new Zimbabwe, they MUST cooperate. We are not going to tolerate their nonsenses

Chigero - 19 February 2018

if you think chamisa is going to be the next president of zimbabwe then you are in for a big surprise comrades

ngeka - 19 February 2018

The economic situation in the country will determine the winner as people are more concerned with bread and butter on their tables.

Lazarus - 20 February 2018

Firstly, Tsvangirayi is gone, as much as we love him he is never coming back, so the quicker musangano moves on the better because elections are around the corner. Mistakes might have been made, but let's not lose the bigger picture our President fought for, for many years. Secondly, we young people who are the future of Zimbabwe we are very very happy to have President Nelson Chamisa take over the baton. He is young, vibrant, educated and just a breath of fresh air in the Zimbabwean politics. He has a face, brains and demeanor of the kind of leader Zimbabwe needs considering the challenges. So President Chamisa, we are around you, supporting you to carry through the work left by the late President. MDC had lost it's lustre and with Chamisa at the helm, it has been restored. Vechidiki vanoita resonate ne zvakudiwa in these modern times ndovatakuda. All people who care about the well-being of our lovely country will not be fooled by the government's promise to assist in our leader's funeral, after all, this is the same man (ED) who led the stealing of Tsvangirayi's presidency in 2008. The money he claims to be giving is also tax payers' money, our money not his, so let's not be fooled again like what happened when they staged a coup. Let's remain on a mission to remove Zanu PF and not fight among ourselves. Let's get organised. President Chamisa, we love you.

Tatendashe - 20 February 2018

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