Gutu dismisses Tsvangirai-Khupe rift

The MDC-T has denied reports of a rift between party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy, Thokozani Khupe.

Thokozani Khupe, unhappy with Tsvangirai’s leadership.
Thokozani Khupe, unhappy with Tsvangirai’s leadership.

There have been claims over the last two years that Khupe was unhappy with Tsvangirai’s leadership. She has reportedly been mobilising party supporters in Bulawayo against Tsvangirai, who is said to have received support from Tabitha Khumalo, the MDC-T Bulawayo East MP.

Khupe is also said to have led a crusade to oppose the party’s decision to boycott the June 10 by-elections, arguing that this would further weaken the party that has of late been rocked by splinters and factional divisions.

There were clashes among party supporters in Bulawayo at the weekend when Tsvangirai visited the second largest city to explain the election boycott policy adopted at the party’s congress late last year.

“The MDC leadership is united and focused on building and strengthening the party structures so that we become stronger than ever before. Let me reiterate that there is absolutely no rift between the president and the vice -president. Whatever you might be hearing are fictional stories that are manufactured and disseminated by our detractors,” said Gutu in an interview with The Zimbabwean.

He blamed the disturbances that occurred when drunk party youths clashed with each other on infiltration by Zanu (PF) and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Unconfirmed reports said Khupe had sponsored youths to protest against Tsvangirai who was forced to abandon a key rally following the skirmishes that left several injured.

“We know that Zanu (PF) and the CIO are working overtime trying to infiltrate our structures in order to cause disharmony and disaffection. All genuine MDC members are fully in support of the unanimous Congress resolution to the effect that we shall not participate in any elections until and unless certain specified electoral, media and political reforms have been carried out,” added Gutu.

“The MDC remains the largest and most popular political party in Zimbabwe and we are determined to bring real and sustainable democratic change. We are not going to waste our time on the machinations of desperate infiltrators who are bent on collapsing the people's project,” said Gutu.

Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo (MDC-T) had had her house attacked by suspected Khupe loyalists who accused her of mobilising for the weekend rally and she suspected that internal rivals were behind the onslaught.

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