By Richard Muponde
Former MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe still wants her successor Douglas Mwonzora to be prosecuted over the alleged theft of $6,3 million belonging to the party despite claims that the two have closed ranks, it has emerged.
After their well-publicised meeting last Tuesday, Khupe visited the police’s commercial crimes unit where she reportedly gave a statement over the case against Mwonzora.
A former Mwonzora ally Patson Murimoga filed a case against the MDC-T leader ahead of the party’s controversial extraordinary congress last December after the money allegedly disappeared.
Khupe lost elections to choose the party’s leader, leading to a major public fallout between her and Mwonzora. She accused the senator of rigging the polls.
Last week’s events showed that the two were far from finding each other, MDC-T insiders said.
“Although we are not aware of what the two discussed, Khupe left the meeting and advised other party leaders that she had been summoned by the police to give her statement about the missing $6,3 million and she went and gave the statement,” said a top MDC-T official.
“Other witnesses in the alleged embezzlement of the party funds also gave their statements, with Khupe confirming that party funds indeed went missing.
“So what’s being said about that meeting, that the two have a cordial working relationship, is not true. There’s still a dispute.”
Mwonzora’s spokesperson Penias Damba said they were not aware of Khupe’s visit to the police.
“We are not aware of that,” Damba said. “It hasn’t come to our attention. We can only comment when it becomes official.”
He insisted that Khupe and Mwonzora had a good working relationship.
“Khupe is our vice-president and a long-serving deputy president after Gibson Sibanda,” Damba said.
“As you are aware, she was unwell just after the extraordinary congress and was on leave.
“That’s not the first time that the two have met or the last time.
“It’s the culture of the president to meet the party’s standing committee, national council, down to the branches.
“There’s a cordial relationship between Khupe and the president.”
Khupe’s office yesterday confirmed that she gave her statement to the police over the missing funds.
“Madam Khupe was indeed summoned to the police to give her statement in the case where it’s alleged that senator Douglas Mwonzora embezzled party funds ahead of the extraordinary congress in December last year,” said an official.
Mwonzora has dismissed the theft allegations and accused his accusers of trying to tarnish his image. The Standard