Khupe recalls her daughter’s father from Senate in MDC power struggle

Ousted ... Bulawayo Senator Gideon Shoko has a child with his new political nemesis Thokozani Khupe

HARARE – Rampaging MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe has recalled from the Senate her daughter’s father as she pushes ahead with her plan to decimate the MDC Alliance in Parliament.

Gideon Shoko was one of eight Senators who lost their seats in the Senate on Wednesday as Khupe continues to enforce a Supreme Court judgment which she claims handed her the leadership of the MDC Alliance, although she took part in the previous election as leader of the MDC-T.

Gideon Shoko, a Bulawayo Senator and former deputy secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), is the father of Khupe’s last born daughter, Shamiso Shoko, a Harare-based lawyer.

The ZCTU branded Khupe and her MDC-T party “hypocrites”.

“You say you love the labour movement but remove our immediate past deputy secretary general comrade Gideon Shoko from the Senate? Hypocrites! We stand with our former DSG,” the union said on Twitter.

Meliwe Phuthi (Matabeleland South), Helen Zivira (Bulawayo), Siphiwe Ncube (Bulawayo), Phyllis Ndlovu (Matabeleland North), Keresencia Chabuka (Manicaland), Herbert Sinampande (Matabeleland North) and Tapfumanei Wunganayi (Mashonaland East) were the other Senators to lose their seats at Khupe’s instigation.

On Thursday, the MDC-T also unseated four Harare councillors Jaison Kautsa (ward 37), Tonderai Chakeredza (ward 31), Grisot Mandere (ward 44) and Denford Ngadziore (ward 16).

The MDC Alliance has challenged the recalls from Parliament insisting that they are based on a misinterpretation of the March 30 Supreme Court judgement. The Nelson Chamisa-led party has also obtained a court interdict preventing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission from filling the vacancies before the courts can determine if Khupe has the authority to recall its lawmakers and councillors.

Khupe has so far recalled over 20 lawmakers as she tries to intimidate others into backing her bid to insert herself as their leader.

Khupe, who participated in elections in July 2018 as leader of the MDC-T party, winning two parliamentary seats.

A Supreme Court ruling in March this year found that Nelson Chamisa’s ascendancy to claim leadership of the MDC-T party in February 2018 was illegitimate, and ordered the party to hold an extra-ordinary congress within three months to elect a new leadership.

Chamisa, however, participated in those elections as leader of the MDC Alliance, and his party insists that if Khupe were to be allowed to take control of the MDC Alliance, it would mean she has two parties in Parliament – a legal absurdity.

Khupe has moved to seize MDC Alliance assets with the help of the police and military, starting with the party’s HQ in central Harare. He was interdicted from claiming funds due to the MDC Alliance from Treasury, pending the outcome of the court challenge mounted by the first four lawmakers to be recalled including the party’s leader in Parliament Thabitha Khumalo and secretary general Charlton Hwende.