The Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC T has said that a former cabinet minister, together with a prominent journalist and a lawyer influenced the party`s former vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe to declare a split.
Mwonzora`s former deputy, Dr Khupe late last month announced that she was splitting from the party and declared herself the leader of the splinter group. She declared that she was the legitimate leader of the MDC T, arguing that Mwonzora had removed himself from the party by forming the MDC Alliance to contest in the March by-elections.
Last Saturday the Mwonzora-led camp`s announced that its national council had met and resolved to expel Dr Khupe from the party.
Mwonzora told 98.4FM News that his party believed that the exiled ex-cabinet minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, journalist Hopewell Chin`ono and former advisor to late MDC T president Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa ill-advised Dr Khupe.
“As regards why she did what she did, that we do not have the knowledge and what we know is that there was a lot of advice from people like Jonathan Moyo, some lawyers like Alex Magaisa, some people like Hopewell Chin`ono and all those people trying to advise her and we know because they were doing it in public,” Mwonzora said. “These are people who are on record of never having advised anybody correctly and their advice has always ended in disaster,” he added.
He said his party was confident that Dr Khupe`s exit would not hurt its support base, especially in areas where she is perceived to be widely supported.
“Regarding the impact on Matabeleland, there will not be any impact at all. If you look, immediately after the declaration, the press conference, Bulawayo province was the first to say it did not associate itself with that declaration, then we had Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and all the provinces in Zimbabwe.”
Mwonzora added: “On the MPs (Members of Parliament) she went with two, Honourable Nomvula Mguni and Honourable Gilbert Mangena. The other MPs totally refused and the national council was unanimous that there is no split within the MDC.”
He also said that Dr Khupe`s MDC T faction and the Nelson Chamisa-led Citizen Coalition for Change had no basis to claim the political parties funding.
The MDC-T received ZWL$149 850 000 from the government coffers under the Political Parties Finance Act, according to Mwonzora.
“Her (Khupe) splinter was formed on the day she announced it and I need not belabour the point that that party did not contest in elections and does not have members in parliament. We have seen many political parties lay claim on the political parties fund, the law is very clear, you must have contested the preceding elections and must have scored a certain number of votes to quality.”
But, Dr Khupe`s spokesperson, Ntando Ndlovu, dismissed the allegations by Mwonzora as “village gossip.”
“The allegations by Douglas Mwonzora point to a man gasping for facts and we have no time to respond to such village gossip. The method in his madness is that by name dropping those names he will gain favour from his handlers ZANU PF,” said Ndlovu.
He said Mwonzora is the one who broke away from MDC T by forming the MDC Alliance.
“In any case, Mwonzora long fired himself from the MDC T by writing to ZEC on the 3rd of January informing them that he has now formed a splinter group called MDC Alliance with the likes of Lucia Matibenga and others. Therefore, Dr Khupe was right to declare that the party has split.”
Mwonzora`s party will be contesting in the 26 March by-elections under the name MDC Alliance.
The name was wrestled from the Chamisa-led MDC formation, leading to the latter rebranding to Citizen Coalition for Change.