Nqobile Tshili, Chronicler Reporter
THE MDC-T plunged into a new crisis yesterday following the suspension of its vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe who also announced that party leader Mr Douglas Mwonzora had fired himself from the opposition party.
Dr Khupe was suspended together with her loyalist and former party spokesperson Mr Khaliphani Phugeni.
It is alleged that Dr Khupe is being suspended for taking MDC-T matters to court.
Sources said Dr Khupe is facing parliamentary recall by her party and wants to use the courts to stop the process.
While MDC-T announced that it was suspending Dr Khupe from the party, she on the other hand announced that she will be addressing a press briefing today at Macdonald Hall in Mzilikazi suburb.
In a statement, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Witness Dube, who previously served as Dr Khupe’s spokesperson, confirmed her suspension.
“The MDC-T wishes to advise that First Vice President Dr Thokozani Khupe has been suspended.
A letter dated 12 January 2022 was personally delivered to Dr Khupe and her legal team.
The suspension was with immediate effect, pending investigations into the various allegations levelled against her,” said Mr Dube.
He said a team led by MDC-T’s arbiter general will lead the investigations into her case.
“The suspension is in line with the party’s constitution and is as a result of certain issues that arose. Once the said issues are investigated and fully resolved, the party will communicate such,” he said.
Mr Dube also confirmed that Mr Phugeni has also been suspended together with Dr Khupe.
To add to the political circus, Dr Khupe, declared herself the party’s president arguing that Mr Mwonzora violated the MDC-T constitution when he revealed that he will contest elections under the MDC Alliance banner.
Last week, Mr Mwonzora wrote a letter to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission stating that the opposition party would contest the coming by-elections under the MDC Alliance banner.
Dr Khupe, through her spokesperson Mr Ntando Ndlovu, declared that her suspension is null and void.
“I must point out that as far as we are concerned Douglas Mwonzora does not have any authority to fire anyone from the party because as far as we are concerned, he is not the party’s president.
According to our party constitution, if a party member joins or supports another political party, he or she automatically fires himself or herself from the party,” said Mr Ndlovu.
“Douglas Mwonzora wrote a letter to Zec stating that MDC-T will contest the upcoming by-elections using the MDC Alliance name so he automatically fired himself from the party.
You will recall that we were recalling people from Parliament based on that particular section 5.10.(a) when they insisted that they are MDC Alliance.
So, when Douglas Mwonzora is saying he is MDC Alliance it means that he has fired himself from the party in terms of our party constitution.”
The country is set to hold by-elections on March 26 and most of the vacant seats emerged as a result of elected MDC-T members being recalled for claiming that they belonged to the Mr Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance party.
He said Dr Khupe will today address a media briefing detailing the direction of the MDC-T to the country and party members.
“Dr Khupe is firmly in charge of the party in terms of the constitution.
She is the remaining vice president of the party and she will exercise the functions of the president in the absence of Douglas Mwonzora who fired himself from the party,” he said.
“The rank and file of the MDC-T are not confused; they are clear on what is going to happen going forward.
Suffice to say that standing committee which took those irrational decisions are an illegitimate structure who are just a gang of friends and who have no legal standing.
Therefore, the decisions that they take are rendered null and void.”