THE MDC-T was Sunday left precariously on the brink of a further split after a group of alleged party activists beat up and injured party deputy president Thokozani Khuphe and her aides in Bulawayo.
Khuphe and some party leaders from the main opposition’s stronghold Matebeleland provinces are reportedly opposed to the formation of a pre-election coalition with other smaller parties in the country.
The former Deputy Prime Minister snubbed a launch rally for the so-christened MDC Alliance which brought together the MDC-T and its breakaway groups on Saturday.
After the perceived snub, Khuphe and some party leaders from the three provinces were linked to an “unconstitutional” snap meeting in Bulawayo which was ostensibly meant to be a “feedback on coalition agreement and way forward”.
Meeting organisers invited the MDC-T national and provincial executive leadership from the three Matebeleland provinces that have anchored the MDC-T’s support base since formation.
What happened was left to media speculation as Khuphe could not be reached for her account of the ordeal.
Her mobile was answered by her younger sister who said the Bulawayo legislator had left to see her doctor. She further refused to disclose any details relating to Khuphe’s unfortunate experience.
Party national chairman Lovemore Moyo was not picking up calls when efforts were made to hear his opinion Sunday evening.
But unconfirmed reports said Khuphe was attacked by “Tsvangirai thugs” together with her security which tried in vain to wade off the attack.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said he was out of the picture as he was out to his rural home for a funeral.
“I am away in rural Gutu attending a funeral. I will only be able to get fuller details when I get back to Harare,” he said.
However, a party politician based in Bulawayo said Khuphe got what she bargained for as she was apparently trying to lead the party’s most important structures astray.
“She was being accused of holding an unconstitutional meeting,” said the politician.
“If at all she was not happy, all she needed was to raise her concerns because the whole coalition agenda has not been concluded.
“The struggle has graves, widows, widowers, orphans and people with broken limbs. She can’t play like that.
Addressing a rally during the launch of the MDC Alliance on Saturday, Tsvangirai berated “selfish” party politicians he said were resisting coalition formation fearing for the loss of their positions and further arguing the party had enough supporters to see it through elections next year.
Tsvangirai said individual party positions were not enough to upstage Zanu PF during elections as he appealed to the conscience of his lieutenants he said were hell bent on throwing spanners on the coalition arrangement.
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora Saturday denied Khuphe had snubbed the coalition launch insisting she had excused herself to attend to private business.