JUST IN: Khupe’s burial date and place announced

Mater Dei Hospital

THE late senator representing people with disabilities (PWDs), Watson Khupe will be buried tomorrow at Athlone cemetery in Bulawayo.

Khupe (59) died on Saturday at Mater Dei Hospital after an undisclosed illness.

Late Senator Watson Khupe

Ward 8 councillor Edwin Ndlovu who covers the area in which Khupe resided in Thorngrove told NewsDay that he played a pivotal role in fighting for the rights of PWDs in Parliament.

“Burial is tomorrow morning, and the service will be at his home in Thorngove before burial at Athlone Cemetery,” Ndlovu said.

On Wednesday, Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni described Khupe as a strong advocate and champion for PWDs.

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“The city of Bulawayo and the nation have lost a strong advocate and champion for PWDs. He worked closely with the city in developing the gender and social inclusion policy and its programmes. He was always willing to lend a helping hand in assisting the public through his organisation- the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Zimbabwe,” Mguni said.

The late senator Khupe’s sister, Rachel Sibanda said: “He died on Saturday at Mater Dei Hospital where he had been admitted after falling ill. As a family, we have lost a pillar of strength. He was a unifier, mentor, tutor and father to us.”

Sibanda said Khupe did not allow his disability to define who he was and even did better than some able bodied people in improving his life.

Khupe founded the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Zimbabwe (MDAZ) which highlighted the challenges of people with inherited genetic conditions that gradually cause muscles to weaken.

He became a senator representing PWDs in 2018.

At the time of his death he was the national chairperson of the umbrella Disabled People’s Organization (DPO) and the Federation of Organizations of Disabled People in Zimbabwe, FODPZ.

He was also a policy expert and researcher on issues of livelihoods, and self-help projects.

Between 2010 and 2012, he served in COPAC as a representative of PWDs during the crafting of the 2013 Constitution.

He was a holder of a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), among other qualifications.

— NewsDay

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