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Elders seek to pacify MDC tiff





The feuding MDC factions have roped in the parties' elders to help resolve the impasse amid revelations the Thokozani Khupe-led grouping has been failing to gain the support of members despite bagging a favourable judgment at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that Khupe should lead MDC-T in an acting capacity pending the holding of an extraordinary congress within three months.

The Court ruled that Nelson Chamisa's appointment as a co-vice president by the late Morgan Tsvangirai was irregular and his ascendancy to lead the party after the death of the founder was flawed.

Chamisa contested the elections last year as leader of MDC Alliance and his party does not recognise Khupe and her political outfit as the MDC Alliance held its own congress in 2019 in Gweru to choose their own leaders.

While the feuding between Chamisa and Khupe intensifies, Business Times heard this week that MDC Alliance and MDC-T Council of Elders want the warring parties to come to the table under the guidance of a credible mediator who commands respect from the two factions.

Pearson Mungofa secretary general of the MDC Alliance's Council of Elders told Business Times that their counterparts in MDC-T led by James Makore and Cephas Makuyana have approached them to end the impasse.

"We have been approached by the Elders from the Khupe faction proposing that we should talk to our principal Nelson Chamisa and that we need to find a mediator to chair the dialogue between him and Khupe," Mungofa said.

"We as the elders of party are ready to take up the matter to our principal Chamisa but we need a guarantee from the Khupe faction that they are not being send by Zanu PF to further weaken our party."

He said one of the mediators whose name was being touted was Eric Matinenga a lawyer and former cabinet minister who once worked with the late Tsvangirai, Khupe and Chamisa during the inclusive government in the period 2009 to 2013. Matinenga has since retired from politics.

"I know that the elders want Advocate Matinenga to be the mediator in the political dialogue but it is yet to be finalised," Mungofa said.

He said Chamisa last year made the first move of asking the elders to talk to the Khupe faction but his iniatiatives were turned down by Khupe and her group.

Mungofa said the Khupe faction had come to the table after the group had realised that it did not have the support of the MDC members and general public despite the Supreme Court ruling which had declared Khupe to be the legitimate leader of MDC in an acting capacity pending the holding of an extraordinary congress.

Makuyana confirmed the talks adding that dialogue and mediation were needed in the MDC to end the political fighting.

"I am one of the founding members of the party together with the late Morgan Tsvangirai and it is our wish as Elders of the party to bring Khupe and Chamisa to a table and we need someone who has been with the party as a senior member we both respect to be chairing it," Makuyana said.

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