- “If those who think that dialoguing with the President is selling-out and I said I am going to be dialoguing for a better life, then let me be a sell-out, but I will deliver a better life to everyone at the end of the day,” she said.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
MDC-T interim president Thokozani Khupe gave her maiden speech in which she said she was the Leader of the Opposition and would dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to improve the livelihoods “of the 14,6 million Zimbabweans”.
“I would like to thank the Lord Almighty for affording me yet another opportunity to come to this august House as a Member of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition,” said Khupe.
Zanu-PF MPs overwhelmingly supported her throughout her speech, with some shouting ‘Seva!’. Some MPs aligned with rival MDC-A leader Nelson Chamisa had walked to on her.
She said she was prepared to continue dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa if that is what would make life better for all Zimbabweans. She said she was not concerned by those who call her a sellout for believing in dialogue.
“Dialogue, energises people to work together and hence the reason why after every election, we must expeditiously get out of the election mood and move forward towards the development agenda.
“As the Leader of the Opposition I am going to be dialoguing with the President for a better life for everyone.
“If those who think that dialoguing with the President is selling-out and I said I am going to be dialoguing for a better life, then let me be a sell-out, but I will deliver a better life to everyone at the end of the day,” she said.
She added that as opposition, their role is to question Government and hold them to account for their actions to the public.
“Our role is to represent the alternative government and therefore we are responsible for challenging Government policies and proffering solutions.
“Our role is to be the eyes and the ears of what the people are saying out there concerning their needs and aspirations and then come to this august House to raise those issues so that remedies and solutions are found and everyone has a better life.
“I would like to assure Zimbabweans that going forward, we will make sure as MDC-T that we perform our representative, legislative and oversight roles to the best of our ability and knowledge.”
In a veiled reference to Chamisa, Khupe blasted politicians who she said want Zimbabwe to come to a standstill because they were not in power.
“I would also like to state categorically that our purpose as MDC-T is not just about power and positions. Our purpose is about advancing the interests of the 14,6 million Zimbabweans so that they have a better life.
“The sad reality is that for others, it is just about power and positions: for the reason that I did not get the power and position that I wanted, Parliament must not operate; because I did not get the power and position that I wanted, Zimbabwe must come to a standstill, because I did not get the power and position that I wanted the country must be burnt down.” – Zimbabwe Voice ■