By Staff Reporter
FORMER Deputy Prime Minister and MDC-T leader, Thokozani Khupe has wasted no time, latching on to a High Court ruling that deligitimsed her rival Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the MDC.
In a statement Wednesday, Khupe said she was ready to seek out party secretary general Douglas Mwonzora to map the way forward for the beleaguered opposition movement.
“This victory not only vindicates Dr Khupe and those in the MDC that have always stood for principle over political expediency but it’s a victory for all democratic forces and the rule of law in our country,” said Khupe.
She lashed out at civil society and the democratic movement who she argued had sold out “the struggle.”
“This judgment is also a damning indictment to the many so called legal scholars in the broader democratic movement, who for the past years like the disgraced biblical Pontius Pilate looked the other way, when the movement was veering off our founding values with such alarming impunity,” Khupe said.
Having served as party vice president for 11 years, Khupe was forced out of the party in the chaos that followed founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s death last February.
After escaping an attempt on her life at Tsvangirai’s burial, when thugs linked to Chamisa tried to set alight a hut in which she and Mwonzora had sought refuge, Khupe broke away and won a High Court case to keep the party name as well as logo.
But in her statement Khupe said while Chamisa was no longer leader, he remains an important part of the movement.
“Advocate Chamisa and those close to him must not be verbally abused or belittled in any way, shape or form. He remains an indispensable leader of our movement and to that end he deserves the uttermost respect from all disciplined cadres of our movement,” she said.
Khupe added: “Justice Edith Mushore, reminded us again what it is to be Zimbabwean by choosing courage and integrity over bigotry, misogyny, cowardice and mobocracy. It is therefore not surprising that those who seek power through violence and fraud are not able to successfully impeach her ‘Ratio decidendi’ and are descending to their lowest weapon of choice which is personal insults and attacks on our judiciary.”
According to the statement Khupe said she will soon be contacting the secretary general of the party, “Dr Mwonzora, and other elected leaders to see how best they can implement the ruling of the High Court.”
Khupe welcomed an appeal as noted by Chamisa’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume adding it was “an opportunity to confirm the universal rights of all Zimbabweans to fair and just administrative justice within any social organisation of their choice.”