By Staff Reporter
FORMER deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe has dismissed charges that she is a regional politician insisting she is the only MDC-T leader to have been unanimously backed by all of the country’s provinces.
Khupe, who leads a breakaway faction of the MDC-T party, was responding to questions at a panel discussion in Harare last Thursday.
“I have never been a regional leader because, when I was elected first time around as the deputy president of my party, I was elected by all the 12 provinces unanimously,” she said.
“So, how do I become a regional leader? In 2008, when things were tough, all the men ran away, and I held the party together single-handedly.”
“And then I was doing my Masters’ degree at NUST and I had to defer it because I had to come to Harare where Harvest House had been turned into a refugee camp for victims of political violence.
“I was helping everyone regardless of where they were coming from. I speak Shona and Ndebele and many other languages.”
On why she has not joined other parties with female presidential candidates to avoid splitting votes, Khupe said time was not on their side.
The other aspiring female presidential candidates include Joice Mujuru (People’s Rainbow Coalition), Melbah Dzapasi (#1980 Freedom Movement) and Violet Mariyacha of the United Democracy Movement party.
Said Khupe; “Let us look at reality; are you saying of the more than 23 presidential candidates who are contesting, votes will only be spilt among the women candidates?
“We have only three weeks to go into an election; right now, we are supposed to be focusing on campaigning so that one of us who is sitting here becomes the president of Zimbabwe.
“I am appealing to all the women, all the girls and all the boys to vote for one of the woman so that we have a female president come August.”