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Khupe barred from Polad

by Staff reporter
17 Sep 2020 at 15:03hrs | Views
THE MDC has directed its interim president Thokozani Khupe to stop being part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) until she gets the mandate from the party's congress.
This comes as Khupe joined Polad as the presidential candidate of the MDC-T that she formed ahead of the July 31, 2018 elections following her breakaway from the Nelson Chamisa-led faction. But with the Supreme Court stripping Chamisa of the leadership of the party left by the late Morgan Tsvangirai and conferring its presidency on Khupe in March, the party's reinstated national chairperson Morgen Komichi told the Daily News that the MDC had not seconded its president to Polad.

"For now, she cannot continue with Polad because we have agreed that the decision on who we engage with politically should be subjected to party structures, preferably congress.

"Remember that the party that seconded her to Parliament is not the same party that she is leading. The president takes instructions from the party that she leads and that party has not seconded her to Polad," Komichi said.

Of late, Khupe has not been attending Polad meetings, including the latest indaba of the dialogue platform's principals hosted by Mnangagwa at State House last week.

Reacting to Komichi's assertion, Khupe's spokesperson, Khaliphani Phugeni, who also doubles as the MDC information tsar, said the party leader's failure to present herself at recent meetings was because she was preoccupied with preparations for the extra-ordinary congress directed by the Supreme Court.

"The president is preoccupied with preparing for the extra-ordinary congress ....," Phugeni said.

Phugeni's assertion comes notwithstanding the fact that the extra-ordinary congress that was initially pencilled for July 31 was indefinitely postponed after the government raised safety concerns over the issue of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

This comes as insiders told the Daily News that the decision to bar Khupe from Polad was the brainchild of some party leaders who are eyeing the MDC presidency whenever the extra-ordinary congress that will elect Tsvangirai's successor is eventually held.

"Remember Komichi, (Douglas) Mwonzora and (Elias) Mudzuri all want to be president and they do not want to be labelled Zanu-PF like what is happening to Khupe. They want to be seen as genuine opposition leaders who are not tied to Mnangagwa's apron strings so they are the people who came up with the idea," an MDC national standing committee member said.

Chamisa has refused to join Polad insisting Mnangagwa did not win the 2018 presidential election hence has no locus standi to call for dialogue when his legitimacy is being questioned despite the Constitutional Court throwing out the 43-year-old politician's challenge. On the other hand, Khupe has been on the forefront calling Chamisa to join the group and stop demonstrations to save his members from being beaten up by the police.

In March while addressing the media on the sidelines of a Polad meeting, Khupe also pleaded with the Western countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to forgive Mnangagwa, who is accused of human rights abuses to give him a second chance and treat him the way the United States and European countries treated other governments.

"We were still going to engage, to go to the United States to meet those people who actually are involved, but we can't because of Covid-19, but we are appealing to the Americans to say as Zimbabweans, give us a second chance as a country. Zimbabwe requires assistance; we need a bail out to restart our economy," Khupe said.

Zimbabwe's human rights record has seen the country continue to suffer isolation, with Western countries demanding reforms from Mnangagwa before sanctions imposed on the country at the turn of the century can be lifted.

Source - dailynews
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