The eight provinces are: Bulawayo, Harare, Matebeleland North, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland Central, Manicaland, Midlands North, and the Province of South Africa.
They issued uniform statements Friday and Saturday pronouncing their support for party president Douglas Mwonzora, saying his decision to suspend Khupe was above board and now awaits adjudication by the MDC-T Abiter-General.
The party’s Women Assembly also issued a statement signed off by the organ’s information secretary, Lazwi Sibanda in solidarity with Mwonzora.
Supposedly her bastion of support, Bulawayo province was the first to issue a statement distancing itself from Khupe’s ‘theatrics’ after she claimed Mwonzora had fired himself by having written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by virtue of having declared his party would contest the upcoming by-elections as MDC Alliance, the same title used by rival leader Nelson Chamisa’s party.
In its communique, MDC-T Bulawayo information secretary, Lucky Cuma wrote: “The Province wishes to distance itself from the press conference hosted by suspended Vice President (VP) Dr Thokozani Khupe, in Bulawayo earlier today. We are fully aware that she has been suspended from all party activities pending her appearance before the Abiter-General and his balanced disciplinary committee.”
“We urge our genuine MDC-T members, our MDC Alliance partners, and all Zimbabweans in general to totally ignore this unsanctioned event designed for the purposes of scoring cheap and temporary goals. We affirm the decision of our party and President Douglas T. Mwonzora, to suspend VP Khupe.”
The province went on to describe her as belligerent in nature.
“It is clearly remembered how she repeatedly fought without a cause with our late President Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T family. The MDC-T has not split,” Cuma said.
A similar letter was reproduced by the other seven provinces.
The calls by provincial structures for the former deputy prime minister in the government of national unity (GNU) to let due process take its course comes amid resistance from the embattled politician.
Last week, Khupe claimed Mwonzora, a Manicaland senator, had entered into a new political alliance with two political parties, effectively invalidating the pre-2018 electoral pact signed between the late Tsvangirai and seven other party leaders.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo Friday, Khupe, who announced her breakaway from Mwonzora’s outfit, claimed that Mwonzora had now penned a fresh agreement with the Lucia Matibenga-led PDP and Shupikai Mandaza of MDC-N.
She also said Mwonzora had expelled himself from the party after he wrote a letter to ZEC notifying the electoral body that the MDC-T will contest the upcoming by-elections as MDC Alliance.
“Surely with all these transgressions Douglas Togarasei Mwonzora cannot continue at the helm of a democratic party such as the MDC-T. As deputy president, I played my part in advising him in terms of my Constitutional role in article 9.2.1.,” she said then.
Mwonzora has dug in saying both the MDC-T and MDC Alliance brands belong to his party.