THOKOZANI Khupe, leader of the breakaway faction of the opposition MDC-T yesterday defended her decision to rope in “outsiders” to fill in vacant posts in her executive structures during her party’s elective congress in Bulawayo on Saturday.
BY SILAS NKALA
Khupe said the appointment of rights activist, Linda Masarira, Samukele Hadebe and, Nixon Nyikadznio and Lynette Mudehwe was above board, adding the four were genuine card-carrying members although they were not active participants.
Her remarks followed complaints by some party supporters who claimed the quartet had been imposed.
Masarira’s appointment came after she last month openly pledged allegiance to MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa in a post on Twitter.
“I have been asked countless times who I am voting for in the 2018 elections. My vote for presidency is for @nelsonchamisa and that is not a secret. I may not agree with his ascendancy into office but will let the truth be told he is the best man for the job #GenerationalConsensus,” she tweeted on March 18 this year.
However, Khupe’s aide, Witness Dube, said: “Firstly, that our members and voters would do well to note that Masarira joined MDC in 2000 and became active in the Bulawayo South district. She has also been previously active in Hwange and Harare before lying dormant from party politics after she grew increasingly dissatisfied with what she viewed as a deviation of the party from its founding values,” he said.
Dube indicated that the party amended its constitution to allow a very limited number of special interest groups and individuals to be legible for election or nomination to any position, subject to clearance by the standing committee, notwithstanding any outstanding constitutional provisions on membership of the party.
He said Masarira was a credible and unapologetic social, economic, political and feminist activist who needed no introduction to the Zimbabwean political arena.
“Secondly, Khupe is not surprised by the avalanche of comments, most of them from people who are afraid of women who chose to congregate around principle, constitutionalism, and to engage in politics that puts the people of Zimbabwe first. She is equally unfazed by the usual ganging up of some self-misguiding and cowardly men who become uneasy at the sight of women whose coming together results in gender mainstreaming in decision making.”
Khupe said Masarira and others satisfied all the constitutional requirements in their entry into the MDC-T main body politics of her party.