MDC-T vice-president, Thokozani Khupe on Saturday paid homage to hundreds of party supporters, who died and thousands others, who had their homes and businesses allegedly destroyed by the Zanu PF regime in the run-up to the bloody July 27, 2008 presidential run-off election controversially won by President Robert Mugabe.
BY SILAS NKALA
Addressing party supporters at the handover of various goods donated by the MDC Veterans Activists’ Association to victims of political violence in Bulawayo, Khupe said she was still haunted by images of maimed, tortured and displaced activists, who took refuge at the party’s headquarters in Harare after fleeing Zanu PF’s terror campaign.
“(MDC-T leader, Morgan) Tsvangirai won the election on March 29, 2008, it took more than five weeks for Zanu PF to announce the results. The results had to be announced on May 2. Tsvangirai had won resoundingly, even Mugabe admitted that he had won by 73%, but when the results were announced, Tsvangirai had 47,9% and Mugabe had 43,2%,” she said.
The MDC-T claims that more than 200 of its supporters and members were killed during the terror campaign, which saw Tsvangirai pulling out of the presidential race in protest over the butchering of his supporters.
The run-off was ordered after Tsvangirai, who had won the first round of the elections with 47% over Mugabe’s 43,2%, fell short of the mandatory outright majority to be declared the winner.
Khupe said when the election rerun was announced, MDC-T decided to participate because they knew they had won the first round and were confident of winning further in the second round.
“We did not know that Zanu PF had other plans, so it started unleashing violence on innocent people and MDC members. Harvest House became a refugee camp. What I saw, I will not forget in my whole life. All those people, who came with broken limbs and shattered bodies, I received them,” she said.
Khupe named a number of MDC-T members, who were allegedly killed by Zanu PF supporters during the bloody 2008 elections.
She said MDC-T should not look back after some of its members lost their lives in that manner, as that would be betraying the victims’ sacrifices.
Khupe urged supporters to vote for Tsvangirai in the 2018 election to end suffering.