12 May 2019

Zimbabwe: Khupe Says Fears for Her Life, Seeks SA Government's Help

MDC-T leader, Thokozani Khupe has come under attack and now fears for her life in the wake of a recent High Court judgment that restored her as legitimate leader of a united MDC.

Khupe, elected at the opposition party's congress in 2014, was stampeded out of the party last year in the chaos that rocked the MDC-T following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year.

However, her fortunes changed dramatically last week when Justice Edith Mushore ruled that Chamisa's power grab was unconstitutional and that his elevation to the presidium as co-deputy president in 2016 by Tvangirai was also null and void.

Khupe, also former State Deputy Prime Minister, said she has been receiving threatening calls and messages from South African registered numbers hence her decision to engage authorities in the neighbouring country.

"I have noticed that most of these attacks are coming from South African numbers and we have sought the help of the South African Embassy in Harare and the South African government so that they can assist in trying to identify these people," Khupe said at a press briefing she called in Harare on Saturday.

The opposition leader said her intention is to seek legal recourse adding her adversaries "need to know I am not the High Court or behind the ruling."

"This court action was never instigated or initiated by Khupe but it was done by someone else.

"But unfortunately, I have been at the receiving end of abuse and this is distasteful and quite unfortunate," she said.

"So we are going to take action on that because we can't just let these people go unpunished."

Khupe said her call for dialogue, was also meant to find a solution to the crisis and avert chaos.

"So many people have been phoning and a lot has happened behind the scenes, that's why I said there is need for a dialogue to solve this impasse.

"But I can't tell you who and who has called and what they have said," the former Makokoba MP said, adding she has not talked to Chamisa since the court ruling.

Khupe said she was waiting to hear from her lawyers when she can move into the volatile MDC headquarters (Harvest House).

"Everything must be done within the confines of the law including the extraordinary congress," she said.

Her claims of attacks by pro-Chamisa fanatics come at a time disputed MDC vice president Elias Mudzuri was also confronted by alleged party supporters at his Harare home this past week.

Mudzuri, although also affected by the court decision which nullified his 2016 appointment as party co-VP, is seen as much more relieved as it allows him another chance to have a go at the MDC presidency.

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