By Never Kadungure | Nehanda Politics |
Former MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe says she regrets working with Douglas Mwonzora after the former Secretary General romped to victory to become president at a congress marred by violence and voting irregularities at the Harare International Conference Centre on Sunday.
Speaking to journalists at a hastily convened press conference after walking out of the congress with fellow candidates Morgen Komichi and Elias Mudzuri, Khupe said;
“I do have regrets now because I thought he was an honest person, I thought he was a genuine person, I thought he was somebody whom we were going to be working together and moving together in this journey of making sure that we deliver a better life to every Zimbabwean.
“Little did I know that he was going to be somebody who would be doing things in a fraudulent manner. I don’t expect that from a person of his calibre…It’s a sad reality,” Khupe said.
Khupe later said she had suspended Mwonzora after the chaotic extraordinary congress in which she was assaulted.
“I have suspended Mwonzora from post of SG with immediate effect and suspended the EOC,”
Khupe confirmed that several delegates were beaten and “one person rushed to hospital as we speak. I will be reporting to the police, over the $6 million stolen from our account,”
Komichi weighed in saying “people who voted today are not our delegates. Some who voted were 10 years in 2014.”
There was also a bizarre moment when journalists who wanted to follow Khupe to her press conference were barred from leaving the venue of the congress by Mwonzora loyalists.
Even after Mudzuri, Khupe and Komichi left in protest, voting continued into the night and culminated in Mwonzora winning with 883 votes against Khupe’s 118.
Mudzuri polled 14 while Komichi got a paltry 9.
Mwonzora was accused of bussing delegates from Manicaland to participate in the congress when they were not part of the party’s structures in 2014. Mwonzora however hit back saying;
“Let people vote, Bulawayo has voted why do you want to stop the vote in Manicaland? There is a council resolution and we should use that for people to vote, why are you trying to stop the vote?”
Khupe who was speaking while banging the table hit back at Mwonzora saying;
“You are rigging. You cannot do that. We will not allow people to steal elections. They must stop the voting process. The voters roll has been tampered with. People who are not on the voters roll should not be inside here. We are not going to allow it, never.”
Speaking after his victory, Mwonzora said “The three (Khupe, Komichi, and Mudzuri) are part of my leadership plans. I have respect for Khupe, she did a lot for this party and we should never forget.”
“This was not a fight; it was a contest… when everyone has sobered up, we will come together as a family.”
Khupe however was having none of it.
“As the acting president of the MDC-T, I have called off the extra-ordinary congress which was taking place at the HICC due to massive rigging,” Khupe told a news conference after abandoning proceedings.
“It is unacceptable, and with the powers vested in me, I have with immediate effect suspended Douglas Togarasei Mwonzora as the secretary-general of the party, he is not allowed to do anything.
“I am going to report to the National Executive that I have suspended him because he has put the party into disrepute with this massive rigging.
“First, he took Z$300,000 from the party coffers without anyone knowing, and we said ok. And then Z$6 million as we speak right now is missing. That is the money he used to rig this election and I can not allow this kind of a thing happening,” Khupe fumed. Nehanda Radio