The dispute between Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Thokozani Khupe has escalated to levels where the fractured party can no longer function effectively, insiders confirmed.
Party officials confirmed that the recent fund-raising trip to England by a team led by Khupe and not Tsvangirai was the source of the dispute as the Bulawayo proportional representation MP moves to upstage her boss.
Tsvangirai backers accused Khupe and members of her faction, including secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, of ensuring that those loyal to Tsvangirai, such as Charlton Hwende were not granted visas. Hwende was denounced on social media as a ‘CIO spy’ while his visa was being processed and his request to enter UK was subsequently refused, further fuelling tension in the fractured party.
Plots and counterplots have seen former trade union friends Tsvangirai and Khupe being at loggerheads since the 2014 party congress at which the latter’s backers swept all the powerful posts.
Party sources said Tsvangirai had lost his grip on the MDC-T as he also did not have control of the party’s supreme ‘standing committee’ and the venomous MDC-T veteran activists association, made up mainly of founding party members, including disgruntled trade unionists.
Sources said Khupe, in charge of party administration, also controlled budgets and ensured that Tsvangirai did not have money for his regular travels. Khupe has under her wing treasurer-general Theresa Makone.
Under pressure from Khupe, Tsvangirai was recently forced to swallow his pride and reverse a congress resolution to boycott elections.
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