MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe allegedly disrupted a Saturday Bulawayo provincial meeting that sought to suspend chairperson Gorden Moyo because she is at a crossroads as to which faction to side with to safeguard her top post.
The MDC-T is on the verge of splitting with the emergence of members aligned to party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and secretary-general Tendai Biti’s renewal team respectively.
Party sources yesterday told Southern Eye that Khupe was initially, though privately, in support of the renewal team, but later changed heart after realising the risk of losing her post once national office bearers were elected.
Khupe, sources added, chickened out after the renewal team expressed interest in joining forces with other opposition parties, a move that did not guarantee her keeping her current top post.
She is reportedly not confident of landing a top post, hence the move to block the weekend meeting that was also meant to confirm the expulsion of rebel legislators aligned to the renewal team.
“Her political life is at a crossroads. Our understanding was that she backs the renewal agenda, but is scared to come out in the open hence clinging on to Tsvangirai.
“The main reason is that she still finds comfort in being vice-president.
“Therefore we believe that she hesitated to join the renewal team fearing that she might not land a top post once proper structures were put in place. So disrupting the meeting was a move aimed at winning favour from both sides (MDC-T and MDC-Team),” a renewal team member said.
After disrupting the meeting, Khupe turned the session into an activism workshop in preparation for the June 16 commemorations.
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, the Lobengula MP, Reggie Moyo (Luveve) and Bekithemba Nyathi (Pelandaba-Mpopoma) are some of the Bulawayo legislators who back the renewal team.
However, another MDC-T insider said it was surprising for Khupe to sympathise with Gorden Moyo whom she had fallen out of favour with recently.
“It’s not a secret that Khupe and Moyo are no longer close politically and it took us by surprise for her to try and save Moyo from being suspended by the province.
“Maybe it’s about courting friends to protect her current post,” the official said.
Khupe and Gorden Moyo allegedly fell out when the Makokoba MP reportedly courted the former deputy prime minister’s political foe, Mzilikazi senator Matson Hlalo.
Khupe vacated the Makokoba seat in the run-up to last year’s general elections paving the way for Gorden Moyo to contest.
She still got a place in the National Assembly courtesy of the newly introduced women’s quota.
Tsvangirai and his party have blamed Zanu PF, the Central Intelligence Organisation and Western countries for the split that resulted in Biti’s group “suspending” Tsvangirai and other standing committee members.
The former premier, however, put up a brave face and called for a series of meetings until last Tuesday when the decision to “fire” Biti and others was announced.
Tsvangirai accused Zanu PF of fuelling divisions in his party and insisted that the MDC-T still enjoyed popular support in the country.
Senior MDC-T officials have in private been describing Khupe’s actions as childish.