Movement for Democratic Change vice president Thokozani Khupe has distanced herself from what she calls disturbing cheap politics in the opposition party in which vice president Nelson Chamisa was on Wednesday appointed by the National Council as acting president of the MDC-T for one year.
Speaking for the first time in months following a fallout with the late party leader Morgan Tsvangirai over the formation of an opposition group, the MDC Alliance, Khupe said events that have taken place in the party following the death of Tsvangirai two days ago are unAfrican.
“May I state on good authority that the family and indeed the majority of the party leadership stands distanced from any and all of the disturbing cheap politics we have witnessed since the passing on of President Tsvangirai. As a deputy president who unanimously received her mandate to serve as president Tsvangirai’s Second In Charge at our 2014 MDC-T National Congress, I would have failed in my duty and in reverence of his memory if I did not call to order the misguided comrades behind these unAfrican, uncultured and barbaric chain of events that have sought to draw attention away from the tragic loss to our party and country.
“I profusely apologize to all who may have been offended by the uncharacteristic representation of our party at such a time as this, and wish to assure the nation that MDC-T is guided by a constitution that was born in a Zimbabwean cultural context of Ubuntu/Hunhu - that sacred age-old code of self-dignity and respect for the departed.”
She appealed to all party members, organs, and the people of Zimbabwe to focus on the “responsibility of preserving the memory of our departed founding president, and to calmly wait for further information on how we will proceed with the journey to the final resting place for the late President Tsvangirai. This information will be made available by Tsvangirai’s family and I on our return from South Africa.”
She is currently in South Africa overseeing the repatriation of Tsvangirai’s remains to Zimbabwe.
“I left Zimbabwe this morning and have arrived in South Africa as I continue to work with the family in giving our fallen gallant hero a befitting farewell. Hopefully we will be able to repatriate the body of the late Right Honourable Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai back home in the next day or two.
“I have made contact with most of the social organisations which partnered with the late President Tsvangirai in his life journey as a democrat. These include the labour bodies, student movements, churches, youth and women’s organisations, and civil society in general. I wish to assure all that I am making every concerted effort with the family of our fallen leader to celebrate the life of our icon in a dignified and befitting manner for a statesman of his caliber.”
A memorial service for the late MDC-T leader will be held today in South Africa and Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, on Saturday.