MDC-T vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe’s camp has broken ranks with the grouping led by Mr Nelson Chamisa, a development that will see the faction going for elections under the People’s Rainbow Coalition led by Dr Joice Mujuru.
Since the death of the party’s founding president, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC-T has been rocked by a power struggle pitting Dr Khupe and Mr Chamisa.
The differences have resulted in violent skirmishes and court challenges.
MDC-T’s national council and national executive controversially confirmed Mr Chamisa as the party’s acting president following Mr Tsvangirai’s death, but Dr Khupe insisted that constitutionally she was the party’s leader.
She has demanded an extraordinary congress for the party to elect Mr Tsvangirai’s successor.
Addressing a sizeable crowd during a rally at Bulawayo Amphitheatre yesterday, Dr Khupe said her camp was breaking away from the Mr Chamisa-led group, but would retain the opposition party’s name.
Her camp also confirmed links to the country’s ex-Vice President Dr Mujuru who leads the National People’s Party, which signed a pact with other small parties such as Zapu and Democratic Assembly for Reform and Empowerment (Dare) under the People’s Rainbow Coalition.
Dr Khupe, who was accompanied by MDC-T national organising secretary Mr Abednego Bhebhe and national party spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu, said they were no longer pursuing the same democratic interests with Mr Chamisa’s grouping.
“We have come a long way with our colleagues,” she said.
“However, they seem to have taken a different path. A path which is against and does not respect the constitution.
“A path which does not respect democracy, a path which is violent, a path which discriminates on the basis of ethnicity and a path which discriminates against women, who by the way are a majority, 52 percent of the voting population.”
Dr Khupe said they will not be silenced by intimidation and violence.
“We will not stand with those who have opted to use violence, defy the constitution, discriminate, and go against the core values of the MDC,” she said.
“With a clear conscience, we are parting from these actions and we will continue to pursue the democratic project of taking the people of Zimbabwe to the Promised Land.”
Dr Khupe said the party will form an alliance with like-minded political formations.
“In this respect, we shall also pursue the formation of a holistic, viable and broad-based grand coalition of all progressive democratic political forces that will face Zanu-PF in the forthcoming harmonised elections,” she said.
“Today, we boldly declare that we are the MDC-T and always shall remain the MDC-T.”
In an interview, Mr Gutu said their outfit was going to join the People’s Rainbow Coalition.
“Absolutely, the acting president was very clear, very unequivocal,” he said.
“She said that we are going to form a broad-based coalition with other democratic forces, it’s a clear sign we are not going to be a one-party band or a one-woman, one-man band.”
Mr Bhebhe said yesterday’s rally was a demonstration that even the minority and the vulnerable had a voice.