THERE was drama at the MDC-T Bulawayo provincial offices yesterday when party vice-president Thokozani Khupe thwarted efforts to suspend chairperson Gorden Moyo and confirmation of the expulsion of rebel legislators aligned to Tendai Biti’s renewal team.
The meeting was announced last week and was meant to confirm the expulsion of Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (Lobengula), Reggie Moyo (Luveve) and Bekithemba Nyathi (Pelandaba-Mpopoma) who attended the Mandel Training Centre meeting that suspended party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Khupe and members of the party’s top brass.
Khupe reportedly arrived when the meeting was already underway with provincial secretary Albert Mhlanga having spelt out the agenda that included the issue of Moyo.
The former Makokoba MP is said to have opened the gate for ordinary MDC-T members who were milling outside the offices in the city.
She reportedly turned the meeting into an unscheduled workshop to discuss organisation of party structures.
MDC-T structures in Makokoba had petitioned the provincial team to suspend Moyo for allegedly sabotaging Tsvangirai.
Khupe is said to have disrupted the event that would have elevated Mhlanga to provincial chairman ahead of Bulawayo Central MP Dorcas Sibanda who has been acting in Moyo’s absence.
Some of the MDC-T supporters who were milling outside were waving placards calling for Sibanda, a close Khupe ally, to take over as chairperson.
They also called for National University of Science and Technology lecturer Mandla Nyathi to take over as secretary from Mhlanga.
Insiders said Khupe blocked Moyo’s suspension to allow Sibanda to hold on to the position of acting chairperson.
MDC-T insiders who attended yesterday’s meeting described Khupe’s actions as embarrassing and immature.
The Makokoba district assembly members who had written a letter during the week to the provincial executive recommending the recalling of Moyo, handed over the petition to Sibanda on Friday.
However, the letter was not tabled as part of the agenda due to the unscheduled workshop.
“The workshop took a long time and afterwards people were tired,” a source said.
“The provincial executive will call for another meeting soon.”
Mhlanga confirmed that the agenda for the meeting was disrupted, but said the matter would now be discussed on a later date.
“Khupe stopped the provincial council from proceeding with the agenda of the meeting, but maybe she was not aware of the process,” he said.
“The matter confirmed that people are still loyal to Tsvangirai.”