Harare (New Ziana) – Parliament on Wednesday ratified the recall of Thokozani Khupe from the National Assembly by her party, the MDC-T, citing constitutional provisions concerning members who are no longer attached to parties they represented when they were elected.
Khupe, who was the deputy president and leader of the opposition in Parliament, was expelled from her party after long-standing tensions boiled over in the struggle for the control of the MDC-T with Douglas Mwonzora.
Upon being expelled early this year, Khupe shot back and announced a splinter MDC-T, installing herself as leader, as the drama in the opposition continued to play out.
Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda said Parliament had been notified of the recall of Khupe and another proportional representative member of the MDC-T, Nomvula Mguni.
As such, as Speaker, he declared the existence of vacancies in the national assembly.
“By operation of the law, two vacancies have arisen in the National Assembly and necessary administrative measures will be made to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the existence of vacancies in Parliament,” he said.
Khupe has wasted little time in plotting her next move, at least according to images making the rounds on social media.
Khupe was seen posing for pictures with erstwhile colleagues, Welshman Ncube and Abednico Bhebhe from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), seemingly indicating that she was plotting her way back to the Nelson Chamisa led outfit.
CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba on Wednesday intimated that Khupe could be on the verge of rejoining her former colleagues turned foes.
“It is a citizen’s movement, but we have had no official conversation with Dr Khupe,” he said.
Khupe was temporarily in charge of the MDC-T after a court ruled that Nelson Chamisa illegally foisted himself as party leader following the death of MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai in 2017, and ordered it to revert to its leadership elected at its last congress in 2014.
At that congress, Chamisa was elected party secretary for policy coordination, a position he held until he was illegally appointed one of three party vice presidents by Tsvangirai shortly before he died.
The appointment to the vice-presidency, made simultaneously with that of Elias Mudzuri, was also quashed by the courts.
The Supreme Court ruling, instigated by Chamisa himself, effectively handed control of the MDC-T back to Thokozani Khupe, the third and only party vice president to have been elected at the 2014 congress.
She was outmanoeuvred by Chamisa for the party presidency after Tsvangirai’s death, and the two subsequently broke ranks – Khupe retaining one faction of the MDC-T, and Chamisa taking the other to form MDC Alliance with other earlier MDC-T prodigal sons Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube.
But the Supreme Court ruling swung the power pendulum back in Khupe’s favour, who gleefully embraced it and promised a root and branch leadership cull, and party reforms.
Khupe was however relegated to the vice presidency after being beaten to the party’s presidency by Mwonzora at congress.