By Nqobani Ndlovu | NewsDay |
MDC-T Bulawayo province is battling factionalism, hardly a month after infighting within its women’s wing exposed differences between supporters of party leader Douglas Mwonzora and his deputy Thokozani Khupe.
A belated International Womens’ Day celebration party held in the city last month was almost aborted after a group of women linked to Khupe walked out on Mwonzora, who was the guest speaker.
Khupe did not attend the celebrations.
Last Saturday, the divisions were also laid bare when the party held two separate meetings, a few kilometres apart, as opposing camps professed ignorance of each other’s gatherings.
Khupe graced a meeting held in Njube, while another was being held in Mpopoma led by MDC Veterans Association (VAA) chair Gideon Mangena, just a few kilometres away.
“To be honest, I did not know anything about that (Khupe) meeting,” Dorothy Ndlovu, who is the national chairperson of the MDC-T women’s national assembly, said in an interview with Southern Eye.
“The meeting I attended in Mpopoma was called by Mangena, the national chair of VAA. These are our elders who always come in whenever there is a problem in the party, so that’s part of what made me attend this meeting. I wanted to know how they are going to fix the problems that we are currently facing as a party.”
While Khupe was not reachable for comment, party spokesperson Witness Dube said “all was well in the party”, despite admitting the holding of separate meetings, including a Bulawayo provincial council meeting.
“We had a Bulawayo provincial council meeting in line with our party’s efforts in consolidating grassroot structures as we prepare for the elections,” he said.
“However, I later learnt that our former provincial chairperson and now national executive committee member Gift Banda had a constituency feedback meeting which was graced by Khupe in her capacity as a proportional representation MP for Bulawayo. All was well and it ended well.”