LEADER of the MDC-T splinter group, Thokozani Khupe is playing the gender card ahead of polls, saying it is time for women to join hands and vote female candidates into office ahead of their male counterparts.
BY SILAS NKALA/ BLESSED MHLANGA
Addressing a women’s election convergence meeting in Bulawayo yesterday, Khupe said with women making up 52% of the voting population they held sway in the polls.
“As women we constitute 52% of the population, contribute more than 80% of the gross domestic product, half of the food consumed in this country comes from the hands of women … we work 10 times harder than men, but regardless of all that we still don’t fully enjoy our rights and freedoms. Some of us have been beaten physically, verbally abused, we have been pushed over, but I decided to stand up and continue moving forward,” she said.
Khupe who was accompanied by People’s Rainbow Coalition presidential candidate Joice Mujuru and leader of the splinter PDP, Lucia Matibenga said her decision to stand against MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa was premised on the need to be the voice of women in the country.
“In life you must never give up no matter what challenges you face, just wake up dust up and continue moving with a straight face. If I was a weak person I would have said let me pack my bags and leave, but I said never I am not going to betray the women of Zimbabwe, I will not betray the young girls who also aspire to be presidents at the end of the day they must learn from us, the courage that we have, the determination that we have it must inspire them to say if our sisters are going ahead and fighting to the finish why can’t we as the elders,” she said.
A presidential candidate in the upcoming elections, Khupe, went for the jugular saying women must be equally respected and challenged them to push for a women’s victory in politics which she claimed resolve the problems rocking the country.
“We want women to be empowered so that you are able to take care of your families. We carry children for nine months, we take care for them to grow, I am who I am because of my mother and you are who you are because of your mother. So for someone to stand up to say a woman cannot be a president that is the biggest insult I have heard in my life,” she said.
“We are women, we were born as leaders in our own right because we give birth to people. We carry them for nine months without making them pay rent, we make them grow up to be doctors, to be presidents, prime ministers, to become whatever they would be. What we do not want is to be intimidated and harassed as women,” she said.
Khupe went ahead to claim glory for the over 2 million women who registered on the Biometric Voters Roll (BVR) saying they heeded the voice of WEC.
“We as WEC2018 our target was to register 2 million women as voters but we must be proud of our selves, we surpassed our target, we managed to register about 2,8 million women voters. This shows that as women we have won and we have taken Zimbabwe. As we leave here we must be ambassadors, preachers of the gospel and the gospel is go and vote for a woman.”