I’m suffocated, can’t breathe – Khupe

Deposed MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe has announced that she has tested positive for COVID-19 a few days after losing her post to Douglas Mwonzora in a controversial election on Sunday

Donald Chakamanga

The leader of recently formed MDC-T faction Dr Thokozani Khupe has accused government authorities of victimizing and discriminating against her since she broke ranks with Douglas Mwonzora.

Khupe was thrown out of the MDC-T party last month for allegedly fanning factionalism but countered by announcing that Mwonzora had relinquished the party leadership after announcing that the party would contest the March by elections as MDC Alliance.

Mwonzora had written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission asking the authorities to bar anyone trying to contest the elections as MDC-A without his and other leaders consent.

The former allies have been haggling over government funds released to parties under the Political Parties Finance Act.

Addressing journalists on developments within the party in Harare this morning, Khupe said she was a victim of discrimination and victimisation orchestrated by the arms of the State.

“As a woman I am being suffocated and cannot breathe. I am calling upon the executive and legislature to stop discrimination against women in politics,” she said.

Khupe vowed to fight discrimination against women “with the last drop of her blood, sweat and tears” adding that her heart was bleeding.

She called on other women support organisations to rise against gender discrimination in politics alleging that the Speaker of Parliament and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs were siding with their male counterparts to silence and disempower women.

Khupe also revealed that she had since petitioned the UN secretary general, Pan-African Parliament and other International Human Rights bodies to highlight the discrimination against women by the executive and legislature.

She also claimed that she received a notice of her recall from parliament through a courier service.

“I received a letter through courier services, FEDEX, to the effect that myself and Honourable Nomvula Mguni had been recalled and were no longer members of the National Assembly,” she said.

Khupe questioned the procedure in which the recalls were being effected arguing that Parliament will be resuming in a fortnight and there was no need to rush with the recalls when the Assembly is not in session.

“We wonder why the Speaker was in a rush,” she said adding that the Speaker of Parliament derives his powers from the people while the House is in session.

She also revealed that both factions had approached the Speaker over the recalls adding that he decided to side with Mwonzora.

“It boggles the mind to note that the MDC A leader can recall members form another party,” she said arguing that the MDC-T split on January 21 this year when Mwonzora on numerous occasioned violated the party’s constitution.

She said Mwonzora was caught between constitutional transgressions and was supposed to uphold and defend the constitution.

Khupe said Ziyambi and Mudenda were notified of the split in MDC-T on January 24 adding that the two should treat the parties fairly.

She further argued that Mwonzora had no locus standi to recall her as he had no power to recall a member of another political outfit.

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