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Chamisa's 20 MPs could jump ship and join the Thokozani Khupe-led group

by Staff reporter
16 May 2020 at 19:33hrs | Views
THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has all but admitted that it has lost control over a significant number of its MPs amid revelations that at least 20 of them could jump ship and join the Thokozani Khupe-led group.
This comes as things are moving from bad to worse for Chamisa and his top allies, after five MPs have so far openly defied his decree to withdraw their services from Parliament.

MDC Alliance secretary-general Chalton Hwende told the Daily News yesterday that his camp expects to see more MPs defying the order not to attend Parliament pending consultations with party structures on the way forward.

"Certainly, some more MPs will continue to defy and side with Khupe but we are also certain that they will not win this battle. They can get some legislators but they will have punched above their weight if they get 20. Our MPs are clear that they belong to the people's party and that they are for the people hence they will not sell out the struggle," Hwende said.

All this comes as political analysts have said Chamisa was not likely to succeed with his decree that attempted to force MPs to withdraw from Parliament mainly because the majority of legislators would be more concerned about "politics of the belly" as they hardly have any source of income outside the august House.

The MDC has a total of 107 legislators who got top-of-the-range vehicles, including Toyota Hiluxes worth between US$40 000 and US$60 000.

Under their parliamentary privilege, they are supposed to pay for them through a stop order for a period of five years.

Besides their average monthly salary of between $6 000 and $8 000, the MPs are entitled to $700 sitting allowances per session, fuel coupons and lucrative foreign trips on parliamentary business.

Yet the government emphasised last weekend that it would withdraw all their benefits if they withdrew from Parliament.

Chamisa and his lieutenants have appeared to be in disarray ever since the Supreme Court delivered its ruling on the party's leadership ructions at the end of March.

The Supreme Court upheld last year's ruling by the High Court which said Chamisa's ascendancy to the leadership of the MDC had violated the main opposition party's constitution.

In the unanimous judgment that was handed down by judges Paddington Garwe, Bharat Patel and Antoinette Guvava, Chamisa's elevation to the MDC's presidency was thus declared unconstitutional, and null and void.

The ruling also automatically re-instated former MDC secretary-general Mwonzora and ex-chairperson Morgen Komichi — who both lost their positions at the party's chaotic congress in Gweru last year — to their previous positions.

And in addition to installing Khupe as interim party president, it also ordered her to convene an extraordinary MDC congress to elect a new leadership within three months.

Last week, the Khupe group successfully recalled Hwende (Kuwadzana), Tabitha Khumalo (MDC proportional representative), Prosper Mutseyami (Dangamvura) and Midlands senator Lillian Timveos, from Parliament, as it flexed its muscles and demonstrated that it is fully in charge of the beleaguered party for now.

Source - dailynews