Monday, 2 February 2015

Thokozani Khupe and Theresa Makoni in plot to oust Tsvangirai

Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor
Intense infighting is under way in the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC formation as party vice president Ms Thokozani Khupe and treasurer Mrs Theresa Makone are said to be trying to push out the beleaguered leader.

Sources who spoke to The Herald over the weekend indicated that the two women were trying to use their financial power to weaken Mr Tsvangirai, who, faced with donor fatigue, has been living in penury.

Mrs Makone and her husband Ian and Ms Khupe own businesses in Harare and Bulawayo respectively, and have for long been considered part of Tsvangirai’s inner circle, referred to as the kitchen cabinet.

The attempted putsch, though, has angered Mr Tsvangirai’s loyalists, especially in Harare province, who are said to be calling for an extraordinary congress to deal with the threat and have been discussing that strategy on social media.
Thokozani Khupe
“The problem is that Khupe and Makone are now controlling the purse and it is for this reason that they are trying to weaken and disrespect Tsvangirai,” said a source.

“This has not gone down well with people (Tsvangirai’s supporters) that is why they are now pushing for another congress to push them out.”


A week ago, Mr Tsvangirai reportedly threatened to expel members discussing party issues on Facebook and WhatsApp social media platforms.

Some of the discussions targeted Mr Tsvangirai himself, with recent constitutional changes that gave sweeping powers to the former trade unionist hogging the spotlight.

Ms Khupe’s manoeuvres are said to have begun soon after the party congress last October.

A source said: “After the congress the leadership went on a retreat in South Africa and it was Khupe who raised the issue that Tsvangirai’s face should be removed from the open-palm symbol of the party.”

The face symbol is regarded as a sign of Mr Tsvangirai’s personalisation of MDC-T.

Ms Khupe is also accused of stuffing the party headquarters with people from Matabeleland.

“At the last national executive council meeting, Mr Tsvangirai exposed this and ordered her to stop it immediately,” said a source.

Efforts to get a comment from Ms Khupe and Mrs Makone were fruitless yesterday.

Party spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu played down alleged friction in the MDC-T camp.

He said: “There’s absolutely no tension between our leader, Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokhozani Khupe. We are a united party under the able and charismatic leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai.

“The next national congress of the MDC-T will be held in 2019. Any talk of an extraordinary congress is clearly misguided, preposterous, frivolous and vexatious.”Herald
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