By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The main opposition MDC Alliance has said the elevation by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime of Thokozani Khupe as leader of the opposition in Parliament was a “fraud” given that she was rejected by the electorate in 2018 when she “garnered a measly 45,000 votes.”
The ruling Zanu PF reportedly conspired with a tiny MDC splinter group, the MDC-T, to help it seize the much bigger party’s parliamentary seats and other elected officers, headquarters and finances.
Khupe has already recalled more 35 MDC Alliance MPs and Councillors using powers awarded to her by a controversial Supreme Court ruling in March that declared Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the opposition left by late leader Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018 as illegal.
Khupe will be sworn in as leader of the opposition MPs and Senators in Parliament on Tuesday.
In the 2018 presidential election Chamisa was narrowly and controversially defeated by Mnangagwa, winning 44,3% of the vote to his 50,8%. But Khupe who came a distant third with 3,42% is being established as leader of the opposition.
Observers have since blamed Mnangagwa of working with Khupe and the MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora to create a one party State led by Zanu PF.
The MDC Alliance rebuked Khupe’s smuggling into Parliament as political “fraud.”
“Nationally, Khupe garnered a measly 45,000 votes. The people rejected her outrightly. It’s undisputed that by comparison, President Nelson Chamisa got over 2 million votes nationally.
“In this video, she admits her dismal election performance. Her placement in Parliament is a total fraud,” MDC Alliance said in a statement accompanied by a video of Khupe.
Vice President and health minister Constantino Chiwenga last week suspended planned 5 December by elections conveniently citing the Covid-19 threat.
Observers argued that his decision was meant to ensure the main opposition MDC Alliance does not recover recalled seats and maintain Khupe as a Zanu PF puppet. Mwonzora welcomed the decision to suspend by-elections but ironically announced dates for his party’s Congress.
UK based Law expert Alex Magaisa noted that Mwonzora was supporting Zanu PF and that Chiwenga’s decision was biased.
“I watched the press conference where Senator Mwonzora spoke in support of the Mnangagwa regime’s suspension of electoral activities saying it’s justifiable. The irony is that he was also announcing dates of his party’s Extraordinary Congress, itself an electoral activity!” Magaisa said.