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Mwonzora suspends Khupe in dramatic fallout

By Shami Makombe

THE Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-T has suspended the party’s vice president Thokozani Khupe after various allegations were levelled against her, amid indications Khupe is forming a breakaway group.

Khupe, on the other hand, is adamant that she is being victimized as a way by Mwonzora to avoid contesting her in the party’s congress set for March. Khupe has since called a press conference for Friday where she is expected to announce her breakaway faction.

In a statement issued on Thursday, party spokesperson Witness Dube said the suspension was with immediate effect pending internal investigations.

“The MDC T wishes to advise that First Vice President Dr Thokozani Khupe has been suspended. A letter dated 12 January 2022 was personallydelivered to Dr Khupe and her legal team.

“The suspension was with immediate effect, pending investigations into the various allegations levelled against her,” Dube said.

Investigations are being conducted by a team led by the party’s arbiter-general.

Dube added: “The suspension is in line with the party constitution and is as a result of certain issues that arose.

“Once the said issues are investigated and fully resolved, the party will communicate such.”

Meanwhile, Thokozani is set to address a press conference on Friday to state her case. In her invitation to media, Khupe said she was holiday an MDC-T press statement but did not indicate under what capacity was she calling the presser.

The opposition MDC has been plagued by splits since its formation just before the turn of the millennium.

In 2005, Welshman Ncube, David Coltart and several mainly Matebeleland politicians broke away citing dictatorial tendencies by founder President Morgan Tsvangirai.

In 2007, Job Sikhala broke away saying the party had diverted from the original 1999 ideology. He called his formation MDC99 and returned to the main MDC almost ten years later.

In 2014, following the MDC’s huge defeat to Zanu PF a year earlier, then party Secretary-General Tendai Biti split away and took with him party assets, Treasury funding and some vehicles and elected officials. He returned to the main fold just over two years later.

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