Khupe clears the air on Zanu PF links

Former deputy prime minister Thokozani Khupe has scoffed at allegations that she is being used by Zanu PF to divide the opposition vote after resisting the creation of an alliance between MDC-T and other parties.

Khupe, who is involved in a bitter war for control of the MDC-T with the party’s new leader Nelson Chamisa, told The Standard in an exclusive interview that she was being persecuted for being a principled politician.

The former Makoboba MP is now leading a breakaway party and wants to run for the presidency in elections expected between July and August.

She lost her parliamentary seat last week after the MDC-T notified the National Assembly that she was no longer a member of the party.

 Khupe is now trying to challenge her expulsion at the High Court and is also bracing for a legal battle for control of Zimbabwe’s biggest opposition party.

“I am not a Zanu PF supporter and l have never been involved in those things,” she said when asked about allegations that her stance against the MDC Alliance was aiding the ruling party’s designs to remain in power.

“I stand guided by my loyalty to the MDC-T party and such allegations against me are not true.

“l am just being persecuted for speaking the truth.”

Khupe has been accused of frustrating previous efforts to reunify the MDC after it first split in 2005 because of personal differences with former Industry minister Welshman Ncube.

However, the former trade unionist does not see any reason for the reunification or alliances in Matabeleland, saying MDC-T was already strong in the region.

“Talking about reunification and alliances, the reason why in politics you look for an alliance partner is because you would have realised your deficit,” she said.

“We have always been winning [in Matabeleland] since 2000. So when the idea of an alliance came, l said to the [the late] president [Morgan Tsvangirai] this is a very brilliant idea because there is a place where we have not performed well and that’s where we need a partner.”

She said an opposition alliance could only be justified in Mashonaland provinces where the MDC-T had always fared badly against Zanu PF. the standard