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MDC's Khupe to Supporters: Stay the Course

MDC VP Thokosani Khupe urged unity at a rally in Gweru on Sunday. Here, she dances at a conference in Harare in May 2013.
MDC-T party vice president Thokozani Khupe urged party supporters Sunday to “remain united” and reject what she said were efforts by Zanu-PF to divide the opposition movement and try to remove Morgan Tsvangirai as the party’s leader.

Addressing a rally in Gweru to celebrate the party’s win in the Midlands province, Ms. Khupe said the MDC-T should stay the course as it starts preparing for the 2018 general elections.

She also claimed that her party has gathered more evidence of vote-rigging in the July 31st elections, saying they will pass it on to the African Union, SADC, and others.

Since the July 31st elections that have put Zanu-PF back firmly into power, a few MDC-T officials have publicly suggested a change in leadership.

But on Sunday, party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told VOA’s Ntungamili Nkomo that Khupe’s message of unity was well received by the thousands of supporters who gathered in Gweru.

“The main message by our vice president was that the MDC remains united behind President Tsvangirai and that means we will not allow Zanu-PF to effect leadership change within our ranks,” Mr. Mwonzora said.

“She also told the people there that they should remain united and prepare for elections. And that these elections are coming very, very soon. There is now new evidence of how this election was stolen and we are going to present this new evidence to the African Union, as well as to the international community.

“She also talked about the International Criminal Court, that if Zanu-PF wanted Africa to pull out of the…International Criminal Court… that this has failed,” Mwonzora added.

“We now, by the operation of the constitution, Zimbabwe is a member of the International Criminal Court. And its leaders are subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Those who murdered people, those who abrogated people’s fundamental rights have to be brought to book, said our vice president.”

Khupe also criticized Zanu-PF for failing to tackle corruption.

According to Mwonzora, “[Khupe] said that corruption is high in the judiciary itself as well as law enforcement. For example, President Mugabe told us [Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation Chair Godwills Masimirembwa] had stolen $6 million USD from the Zimbabwean government, but up to now no arrest has been made.”

“The police are colluding with him, the police commissioner is doing nothing, the attorney general is doing nothing,” Mwonzora charged. “The corruption starts with high-ranking officers in Zanu-PF.”

Khupe also talked about the issue of electricity and water and general service delivery, Mwonzora said, arguing “that since the government of national unity [services] have gone for the worse. Things have gone very, very bad for the people of Zimbabwe.”

Listen to Studio 7's interview of MDC-T party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora:
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