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'Khupe to withdraw from Polad'

by Staff reporter
08 May 2020 at 17:49hrs | Views
MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe has to withdraw her membership to President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) as she has not been given the mandate by the party, national chairperson Morgen Komichi has said.

Khupe - who had formed her own MDC-T outfit after falling out with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa following the death of the opposition party's founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018, had joined Polad at Mnangagwa's invitation.

But with the recent Supreme Court ruling dislodging Chamisa and reinstating Khupe as the party's legitimate leader, Komichi told the Daily News yesterday that she has to seek the MDC-T mandate to remain in Polad.

"What we know is that we are not a member of Polad and Khupe has not been mandated to represent the party. That issue will have to be considered after the extra-ordinary congress if there is need to do so. At the moment, Khupe is not a member of Polad," Komichi said.

Khupe and her spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni were not available to comment on the matter and were not taking calls yesterday.

This comes as Khupe has been at the forefront in calling on her rival, Chamisa, to join the group and stop demonstrations to avoid his supporters from being beaten up by the police.

She became a member of Polad by virtue of being a presidential candidate for the MDC-T in the 2018 elections, which she lost dismally. Chamisa narrowly lost to Mnangagwa in the same elections.

Chamisa snubbed the call to join Polad, refusing to endorse Mnangagwa whom he accused of rigging the 2018 general elections.

In March, while addressing the media on the sidelines of a Polad meeting,  Khupe also pleaded with the Western countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to forgive Mnangagwa, who is accused of human rights abuses, give him a second chance, and treat him the way the United States and European countries treated other governments.

"We were still going to engage, to go to the United States to meet those people who actually are involved, but we can't because of Covid-19, but we are appealing to the Americans to say as Zimbabweans, give us a second chance as a country. Zimbabwe requires assistance; we need a bailout to restart our economy," Khupe said.

Zimbabwe's human rights record has seen the country continue to suffer isolation, with Western countries demanding reforms from Mnangagwa before sanctions imposed on the country at the turn of the century can be lifted.

Khupe, who is head of a Polad sub-committee on international re-engagement, said only dialogue can save the MDC from police beatings and arrests.

"I am not saying people should not demonstrate," Khupe said.
"I am saying people must use demonstrations as a last resort, but now, there is an opportunity for us to come together and dialogue about those same issues our colleagues are raising.

"For me, it is better for us to dialogue than to subject our members to police beatings, police brutality and to arrests because if you do demonstrations, those are the after-effects of demonstrations."

She added: "If you sit around the table and you dialogue, it is leaders talking to each other to say no, Your Excellency, the route you are taking is not the right one; please take this way.

"For me, I would like to urge all my colleagues to say, for us to avoid these human rights abuses, let us talk to each other instead of doing all these other things."

Source - dailynews