MDC deputy president Thokozani Khupe has declared that she was not going to give up in her fight to be ordained as the party’s president.
Khupe, who was addressing a gathering of about 500 supporters at Amphitheatre here on Sunday, described her struggle as the beginning of a new journey.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” Khupe said, quoting Lao Tzu — a major figure in Chinese philosophy recognised as the founding father of Taoism.
“We have just begun a new journey. I am not going to be intimidated nor am I going to be afraid because of the things that are happening,” she said.
“I am going to fight to the finish. I am going to walk with you every step until we arrive to our destination. I stand before you as the constitutionally and democratically elected president of the MDC,” said Khupe, who was flanked by suspended party spokesperson Obert Gutu and national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe said.
Taking a dig at party president Nelson Chamisa, whose ascendency she has openly refused to acknowledge, Khupe said he had gone on a constitutionally wrong path.
“We have come a long way with our colleagues but they seem to have taken a different path, a path which is violent, unconstitutional, a path which discriminates against ethnicity and women. We will not be silenced by violence,” she said.
“We are still going to an extraordinary congress which will elect the president of the MDC.
“I hereby urge all of us here to respect the outcome of the congress.”
Khupe invited officials from the Joice Mujuru-led People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) and also members from the controversial Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) to her rally, raising speculation about her next move.
She, however, hinted that she will pursue what she termed “a broad-based coalition that will face Zanu PF in the forthcoming elections.”
Speaking at the same event, Gutu said: “We do not want to have a Zanu PF habit of beating and killing each other whenever there is a dispute and this is why we are saying if we do not follow the constitution, we risk being another version of Zanu PF.
“We are drawing the line in the sand to say we are not going to be forced to associate with characters that are violent,” Gutu said.
Chamisa took control of the MDC after his nomination as acting president during a national council meeting, but Khupe argues she is the rightful leader on grounds she was the only elected deputy president at the 2014 congress.