Khupe breaks down

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Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe yesterday broke down in tears after she was overwhelmed by hundreds of MDC-T women who converged at Harare International Airport to welcome her from South Africa where she was undergoing cancer treatment.

Khupe this week won the African Achievers Award for Service to Democracy and Women Empowerment for fighting for women empowerment and democracy in the country.

She is pushing for a 50/50 representation of women in Parliament. She said she least expected the huge crowd as she thought MDC-T Women’s Assembly chairperson and Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone was the only one to welcome her. Khupe, a cancer patient, travelled to South Africa last week for radiation therapy, after she was diagnosed with the disease last year.

The previous winner of the prestigious award is South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Among those also battling for the award on the continent was Malawi Deputy President Joyce Banda.

Addressing the gathering, Khupe vowed to fight the eviction of women by Zanu PF “bigwigs” in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central, saying it was a violation of their human rights. She told reporters she was not amused by the eviction of women and children on farms saying her award was motivation to continue fighting for women empowerment.

“I will continue fighting until women have their God-given opportunity and we drive the economy. The struggle continues and let’s work hard,” she said.
“The eviction of women from farms like in Mazowe is not acceptable. We want to protect women. They contribute to the existence of this world. They work 10 times harder than men. We want women to own almost everything.”

Her statement follows reports Zanu PF chefs in Mashonaland Central had evicted farmers from Manzou Game Park.

“This award is a motivating factor to us and has encouraged us to uplift the status of women.”

Khupe said: “We will set up a Thoko Khupe Cancer Foundation to make sure women have access to information. Some of us go to South Africa because of facilities that are not available here, but we will be working hard to make sure they are available.”