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Knives out: Khupe in firing line


MDC-T Bulawayo district structures have reportedly started caucusing on the future of party deputy president Thokozani Khupe amid reports that she had lost popularity among local structures.


MDC-T Bulawayo structures are riddled with intense factional battles and sources said several districts had begun “succession debates” with the spotlight squarely on Khupe. The sources said structures did not want to be caught off-guard hence the current debate whose outcome would be forwarded to the province for endorsement.

“Districts are busy discussing the issue of Khupe. The general feeling is that she has to be replaced at the next congress,” said an insider. “Members say she failed to unite the province during her term and that is despite the party sweeping all local government and parliamentary seats.

“However, the only hindrance is on who to pick as her replacement. Members are of the view that we should not lose the post to another province,” said the insider.

MDC-T Bulawayo organising secretary Albert Mhlanga said districts were holding meetings, but only for audit purposes and dismissed reports that “succession issues are being discussed”.

“What I know as Bulawayo organising secretary is that we are conducting district audits and as of now we have been to Pelandaba, Pumula, Magwegwe and Lobengula. Next week it’s Luveve and the structures are intact,” said Mhlanga.

“Whenever we conduct such exercises, people tend to speculate that we are preparing for the special congress. That’s not true. So on Saturday, there will be a provincial meeting where members would be appraised on party developments, including the congress.”

He said the provincial leadership had heard of plans by some elements to lobby for the removal of Khupe.

“We are not worried about those agendas coming from disgruntled people who want to cause divisions. As Bulawayo province, we are not talking about Khupe and in fact, we don’t have divisions over the (Elton) Mangoma issue,” Mhlanga said.

He said expelled party members who back former Pelandaba-Mpopoma MP Samual Sandla Khumalo had been accepted back into the structures.

Calls by some disgruntled members for an early special congress to reshuffle the leadership have been described as wild ambitions.
Top officials such as Mangoma, exiled treasurer-general Roy Bennett, Iain Kay and Elias Mudzuri have called for leadership audit and renewal following the heavy defeat the party suffered at the hands of Zanu PF in July 2013.

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