By Bulawayo Correspondent
FORMER MDC Alliance female MPs who were recalled from Parliament by embattled ex-MDC-T interim president, Thokozani Khupe are celebrating over the former deputy prime minister’s current political woes.
Khupe over the weekend lost the party’s presidency to her former secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora during the party’s chaotic extraordinary congress.
The congress was ordered by the Supreme Court in March this year to choose a substantive party president following the death in February 2018 of the opposition party’s founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Other presidential candidates Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi also walked away midway through the vote counting process alleging vote rigging.
During the congress, Khupe was also allegedly manhandled by supporters loyal to Mwonzora, prompting an outcry from women organisations and other human rights activists.
However, the recalled MDC Alliance MPs feel the women organisations should also have strongly condemned their recall by Khupe earlier this year.
“It is mind boggling that we have women organisations who claim to be fighting for women’s rights and we only hear about them when Khupe’s rights are violated,” Bulawayo proportional representative MP and MDC Alliance national chairperson Thabitha Khumalo said.
“In this country, 52% of our population are women. Is she more woman than the other women in this country whose rights are violated daily and the so-called women’s organisations are nowhere to be seen or heard?
“She recalled women MPs and these organisations were on voicemail and not reachable. They must stop this selective defence of women,” she said.
Khumalo added any violations of women’s rights should be strongly condemned regardless of one’s status in society.
“Violations of women’s rights is the same regardless of one’s status. So treat all women equal regardless of who the perpetrator is.”
Khupe went on to replace herself with Khumalo as MP.
Another recalled MP, Senator Lillian Timveous from Midlands province said she will never sympathise with Khupe.
“Khupe has never done anything to advance the emancipation of women. To the contrary, she has been aligning herself with men than women. For example, when she was the party’s vice president, her handbag was always carried by a man,” said Timveous.
The former legislator accused Khupe of recalling women parliamentarians and replacing them with men.
“More female MPs were recalled than male MPs and replaced by male MPs. The Constitution calls for 50-50 gender representation, but Khupe has been going against it. Whatever happened to her is none of our business,” added Timveous.
She also accused Khupe and other women organisations for keeping silent when MDC Alliance Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe and other three female youth members were allegedly abducted, tortured and sexually abused by suspected state security agents in May this year.