By Costa Nkomo
MDC-T interim President Thokozani Khupe used her first press conference in her new capacity to narrate her last encounter with the now late Morgan Tsvangirai at a private hospital in South Africa.
Tsvangirai died from cancer of the colon in South Africa on 14 February 2018 and Khupe has been accused of abandoning the founding father of the MDC on his deathbed.
However, Monday, an exuberant Khupe dispelled reports that she abandoned Tsvangirai. She told the media that two weeks before her boss died, she travelled to South Africa where Tsvangirai was “excited” to see her.
MDC President Khupe shares details of her relationship with late leader Morgan Tsvangirai."Tsvangirai was excited to see me on his death bed," says Khupe.Visit NewZimbabwe.com for more details
Posted by New Zimbabwe.com on Monday, June 15, 2020
“Two weeks before he passed on I went to South Africa. I visited the president in hospital. He was very excited to see me. We chatted, we spoke,” Khupe told journalists at Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (MRT) House.
“The president for your own information, for those who do not know, phoned me two days before he passed on. It was very difficult for him to speak but those were his last words. He couldn’t speak and I kept on saying (president) you will be fine because I have gone through the same problem also. I had cancer as well.
“I had a very good working relationship with my president. I have deputised him for 12 years. I worked with him for 26 years. Yes of course there was a problem. That one problem is when we were attacked in Bulawayo and the president sat where exactly I am sitting right now and he apologised about what happened,” Khupe said.
During Tsvangirai’s burial in Humanikwa Village, Buhera, Khupe and reinstated secretary general had to be escorted out of the homestead by the police after rowdy MDC youths bayed for their blood accusing them of frustrating Nelson Chamisa’s bid to succeed the late leader.
She went on to leave the party and form a splinter group that contested in the July 2018 presidential election where she came a distant third from President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Chamisa.
Khupe, who stepped into MRT House for the first time since 2017, has roped in Tsvangirai’s brother Manasa as secretary for elections. Vincent Tsvangirai, son to Morgan and current Glen View South MP is also siding with Khupe so is Hebson Makuvise, former Zimbabwe Ambassador to Germany and an uncle to the Tsvangirai family.
Last month, Khupe with her new lieutenants, Mwonzora, Morgen Komichi, and Elias Mudzuri visited Tsvangirai’s grave where they also donated goodies to the late’s mother, Lydia.
At the press conference, she also dismissed as false reports that she performed traditional rituals at Tsvangirai’s grave.