MDC-T co-vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe has made claims that the late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had told fellow co-vice presidents Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri that she would act as president at all times in his absence.
In a letter addressed to the party’s guardian council of elders, where she appealed to them to intervene in the leadership dispute pitting her against Chamisa, Khupe claims Chamisa renegaded on an agreement that the two made to cancel all party meetings, including the recent meetings that resulted his elevation as acting president. Said Khupe:
In all my visits and calls to the president in his last days, I never raised the issue of who was supposed to act in his absence because the president had sat Honourable Chamisa, Honourable Mudzuri and myself down to clarify who acted on his behalf. He had been clear that I was to act in all instances when he would be absent, by operation of the constitution.
Khupe’s claims come at a time when a new voice recording emerged yesterday, in which Tsvangirai could be heard giving instructions that the appointment of Chamisa and Mudzuri was not meant to undermine the elected Khupe. According to the audio clip in The Herald’s possession Tsvangirai said Khupe would be the acting president whatever happens to him. Said Tsvangirai:
So, kana muchindibvunza imimi kuti makazoappoindirei mamwe mavice president; handina kuundermina munhu aka elekitwa necongress because as far as I am concerned, she is my vice president. (So, if you ask me why I appointed other vice presidents, I didn’t undermine someone who was elected at congress because as far as I am concerned, she is my vice president).
Handidi kunzwa munhu anofamba achiti because pakazoappoindwa mamwe mavice president saka, therefore, Mai Khupe is no longer the vice president uchifunga kuti ndokutsigira. (I don’t want to hear anyone who moves around saying because I appointed other vice presidents so, therefore, Mai Khupe is no longer the vice president thinking that I will support you). She is the vice president elected by congress and that’s where we are. If I am not there, she acts on my behalf, whatever happens.