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Split in Zimbabwe's MDC-T as leaders feud

21 January 2022 - 12:31 By Sharon Mazingaizo
The MDC-T has suspended its vice-president Thokozani Khupe with immediate effect. Stock photo.
The MDC-T has suspended its vice-president Thokozani Khupe with immediate effect. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Ahmed Zaggoudi

Zimbabwe's MDC-T party led by Douglas Mwonzora has suspended his deputy Thokozani Khupe with immediate effect — a move that led to her announcing she would lead a breakaway group.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Khupe declared her suspension from the MDC-T as null and void.

“l announce from January 21 the MDC-T has two formations and the other one is led by yours truly Dr Thokozani Khupe,” she said.

Tensions between Khupe and Mwonzora have in the past boiled over. Last year Khupe lost the party presidency to Mwonzora amid allegations of vote-rigging. Mwonzora offered Khupe an olive branch, appointing her as the party’s first vice-president.

In a statement, the party said Khupe had been suspended, “with immediate effect, pending investigations into the various allegations levelled against her”.

“The MDC-T wishes to advise that first vice-president Dr Thokozani Khupe has been suspended. A letter dated January 12 was personally delivered to Dr Khupe and her legal team. The suspension was with immediate effect, pending investigations into allegations against her.

“Investigations are being conducted by a team led by the party's arbiter-general. 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.”

Khupe recently filed a court application at the high court seeking an order to stop Mwonzora from recalling her from parliament.

The MDC-T is set to hold an elective congress in March.

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