MDC fires Khupe, Gutu, Bhebhe

HARARE - The MDC yesterday expelled its deputy president Thokozani Khupe and organising secretary Abdinico Bhebhe and will recall the duo from Parliament with communication set to be sent to government and Parliament over the move.

Party spokesperson Obert Gutu was also booted out of the opposition movement.

Since the long illness and subsequent death on February 14 of the MDC’s founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai, there has been a vicious power struggle in the opposition movement to succeed him.

And although Nelson Chamisa was elected to lead the opposition movement by the MDC national council — the highest decision-making body outside congresses — last month, Khupe and her allies have pooh-poohed the whole process as they also laid claim to the throne left vacant following the death of Tsvangirai from colon cancer.

In a statement, MDC acting chairperson Morgen Komichi said after deliberations that took at least seven hours and then a secret ballot, Khupe’s fate was sealed and she is no longer a member of the main opposition party.

“On . . . Khupe, the national council noted the efforts for engagement made by the party president and the fact that . . . Khupe remained stubborn, obdurate, intransigent and spurned all party efforts to address her grievances as she continued to hold illegal meetings and partake in unconstitutional activities, putting the party into disrepute and undermining the constitutional organs of the party.

“The national council therefore resolved, by more than the mandatory two thirds of the vote that VP Khupe be removed from the party in terms of the party constitution,” said Komichi, who is now the acting chairperson following the resignation from the party of Lovemore Moyo.

Komichi added, “on . . . Bhebhe, the national council, by the more than the mandatory two thirds of the vote, resolved to remove him from the party on allegations of his unconstitutional behaviour and for continuously putting the party into disrepute.

“The national council further resolved that those leaders that have ceased to be members of the party but who are in Parliament, in particular Khupe and organising secretary  . . . Bhebhe, be recalled with immediate effect,” said Komichi.

Khupe’s expulsion follows the expiry of a seven-day ultimatum that she was given by the national council to comply with the party’s directive to reach out and make peace with Chamisa, who was chosen as the party’s substantive president.

Khupe — who has been holding a parallel presidential campaign — told her supporters at a rally in Bulawayo last weekend that she was not going to give up in her fight to be ordained as the party’s president.

Khupe has openly refused to recognise Chamisa’s appointment as the party’s presidential candidate, insisting that constitutionally, she was the party leader until congress elects Tsvangirai’s successor.

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