MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa and acting president of MDC T faction Hon Thokozani Khupe met over the weekend at the funeral of the late founding member of MDC, Esaph Mdhlongwa.
The two politicians met at the funeral and all sat on the front seat row, as they followed proceedings of the funeral, before they all addressed independently.
In an incident which analyst recorded as a missed opportunity for Khupe, the MDC T acting president did not reciprocate to the good gesture which Nelson Chamisa had publicly declared while addressing mourners.
In his speech , Chamisa said that he was thankful to meet Thokozani Khupe after a long time.
“I would like to thank Baba Mdlongwa for making me meet Madam Khupe after a long long time, that was baba Mdlongwa always making people meet even when they are not ready to meet, “he said.
This message was interpreted by many that Chamisa was now compelled to meet Khupe unofficially, though he was not ready.
Khupe however maintained a distance far from Chamisa all the way to the burial, a moment which most politicians used to Interact and had series of side talks.
This was an official moment for unofficial catch ups, Khupe knows she was largely rejected by the electorate in the last elections over Chamisa, she must have capitalised on this moment to kick start a conversation”, said an analyst
Mdlongwa who was in his 70s, was the opposition party’s first national organising secretary in 1999 and also served as Pumula-Luveve MP.
Sources said Mdlongwa, the father of the popular South Africa-based musician Oskido had a long battle with diabetes, but succumbed to COVID-19 infection and died at Bulawayo’s Mater Dei Hospital on Wednesday.
The two have been on a collision path since Tsvangirai appointed Chamisa deputy president of the party, while Khupe was vice President.
Thokozani Khupe went on o leave the party wit her MDC T splinter which got only 2MPs and 45 000 votes against Chamisa who got over 2million votes on the same election.
Supreme Court however nullified Chamisa’s appointment as deputy President recognising Khupe as the leader of the opposition, which is now known as an MDC T party.
Khupe was then sworn in last week into Parliament alongside 14 other MDC-T officials as a direct replacement of MDC Alliance proportional representation legislators that she recalled under controversial circumstances.
She immediately took over as the official leader of the opposition, a position that was previously held by MDC Alliance’s Tabitha Khumalo.
Mnangagwa dangled the carrot to MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, who had rejected the outcome of the presidential election, which he argued was rigged.
Chamisa rejected the offer and Khupe is said to be now prepared to assume the position snubbed by her rival.