By Brenna Matendere
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has vowed that his rival Thokozani Khupe will not be allowed to take over leadership of the party despite the High Court declaring his elevation null and void.
Justice Edith Mushore last week ruled that the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai violated the party’s constitution after he appointed Chamisa and Ellias Mudzuri as his deputies in 2017.
Chamisa used the appointment to outsmart both Khupe and Mudzuri to take control of the party.
Khupe yesterday declared that she was preparing to take over from Chamisa and lead the party to an extraordinary congress as ordered by the court.
However, a defiant Chamisa told party structures in Gweru on Friday that the MDC’s congress at the end of the month would seal Khupe’s fate.
“We went to elections as the MDC Alliance,” he said. “Khupe went to elections with her party MDC Thokozani (MDC-T).
“It is unthinkable that she can now come to our party to take it over.
“A man from next door cannot come to your house and take over your wife and start eating and staying inside.
“So, Khupe is our sister, she can come to Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House (MDC headquarters) , but only as a visitor.
“Her fate in MDC is on our agenda at the congress. That is where it will be decided, then we part ways formally.”
Khupe said she had already met MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora to discuss the court ruling and was eager to talk to Chamisa on the way forward.
Chamisa accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of interfering in the party’s internal processes.
He said after the congress set for May 23 and 24, the party would step up pressure on the government and force Mnangagwa to negotiate with the MDC to solve the country’s economic and political crisis.
“After the congress, MDC will give answers to the economy,” he said.
“I was voted to be president last year and the courts gave my victory to Mnangagwa.
“I was given the mandate to lead the MDC, now the courts want to give it to someone else.
“The economy is failing. We need dialogue in which we sit down and resolve the legitimacy of our country’s leadership.”
Chamisa claimed Zanu PF was trying to derail the MDC congress, but said nothing would stop the party from choosing new leaders.
“Zanu PF is panicking… now they are trying to stop our congress. They will not have everything go their way,” he charged.
“ED is not God. He cannot have all his wishes granted.
“Look at the economy, it is giving him problems. He is failing to deal even with sewerage blockages in towns,” he said.
“The court is trying to stop us. But we will not stop, we will stop the court. This party is no longer touchable.
“We have just come from the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s memorial to appease the spirit of our founding father.
“That was not in vain. It will give our party strength to fulfil his agenda for change.”
He added: “We are aware of mechanisms by Zanu PF to destabilise our party. They want to divert the focus of the masses. Our focus is politics.
“We respect what judges say. We respect our lawyers, but above all, we are a political party. We formed this party on our own. Our congress will go ahead.”
He hinted that there would be a purge in the party after congress, saying some MDC officials were working with Zanu PF.
“We are changing the direction of the party. We will no longer just walk with anyone,” he added.
“We will scrutinise our leaders. We need genuine cadres. At the congress we are going to tie to the plough the oxen that pull.
“If you are a cadre working with our enemy, we will not tolerate that. This is a people’s party.
“We want to start counting each other. Those who are not with us can go out. This party is now too strong, it will not split.”
MDC officials eyeing positions in the national executive addressed party structures on their vision and manifestos.