By Robert Tapfumaneyi
MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe has defended her visit together with other POLAD politicians to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Sherwood Farm in Kwekwe arguing this was in keeping with the national dialogue spirit started by former rivals in late ex-President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, late founding MDC leader.
Khupe also said in her Christmas message Tuesday she understood 2019 has been a difficult year for every citizen adding that she appreciated the resilience displayed by suffering locals.
She was quick to pat herself on the back saying it was through her two party representatives in parliament that women and girls in the country will now enjoy free sanitary wear and education.
“During the 2014 congress led by Richard Morgan Tsvangirai, we resolved that we will engage in whatever peaceful means to bring about the government of the day to dialogue, therefore it can be correct to say that POLAD is the brainchild of the late president (Tsvangiari),” Khupe said.
The former Deputy Prime Minister said there has been a “lot of noise coming from outside having said about POLAD”.
“It must be noted that POLAD is not the panacea to all our problems, it is through POLAD that a party with only two representatives of parliament of 350 MPs has managed to persuade government to set aside at least $300 million to attend to the indignity and health hazards of the girl child due to lack of access to sanitary wear.
“At the same time, our hard working Education Portfolio Committee chairperson Priscilla Misihairabwi has just informed that pursuant to our Education Bill which we championed as MDC-T in line with our manifesto, the Minister of Finance Prof Mthuli Ncube has set aside another $400 million as a pilot project for free education.
“Too much hullabaloo has been said of our visit to His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s farm as a delegation of POLAD. I must state that categorically, having said POLAD is a 2014 MDC-T Congress resolution, it should therefore come as no surprise whatsoever for any sober minded person that we are in dialogue with Zanu PF under POLAD.”
Khupe said if former bitter rivals Tsvangirai and Mugabe could have tea together, she found nothing amiss with her dining with Mnangagwa.
“Naturally, we will meet every now and then, whenever we choose to meet and it should be of no concern to anyone,” she said.
“Our late president Morgan Tsvangirai had tea every week with late former Zanu PF president comrade Robert Mugabe, so there is nothing new or amiss if anything to be alarmed of, in our engagement with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Therefore, if it takes me to visit that farm and feed those fish for free education, for free sanitary wear and for any other socio-economic challenges facing the people of Zimbabwe, I will do it over and over again as it is insignificant price to pay, for the dignity of our people considering the reality of the outcome of the 2018 election.”
The former deputy Prime Minister and a group of leaders from less known political parties have come under fire for allegedly turning themselves into Mnangagwa ‘puppets’ under the controversial dialogue forum formed by the Zanu PF leader.