Health and Child Care Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairperson, Dr Ruth Labode, who yesterday defied the MDC Alliance`s directive and attended a National Assembly session in Harare, has said she would rather be fired from the August House than stay away.
Labode is part of the 20 MDC Alliance legislators who went against the party’s recent directive of disengaging from any Parliamentary proceedings following the recalling of four legislators by the Dr Thokozani Khupe’s rival faction of the MDC-T.
Following the March 31 Supreme Court ruling, which reinstated Khupe as the acting president of the MDC-T and ordered the party to revert to 2014 structures, the Khupe camp has been threatening MDC-Alliance MPs with expulsions.
In a leaked audio listened to by CITE, Labode said in defying her party president, Nelson Chamisa, she took into consideration several factors including her age and health, adding she was ready to face the consequences of her decision.
“I then said, I now have to ask myself and look at myself as Maduma, look at my age, my health situation; my sight is failing me and gather all these things in one place and ask myself why am I where I am? Maybe I am even in the wrong place,” she said.
“The other thing that influenced me is that I know that MaKhupe will fire us, the PR (proportional representation MPs) and senators. As of when we are going to be fired, it’s just a matter of time. I said will not be fired from home; I will be fired from Parliament.”
Labode elaborated: “She (Khupe) will fire me herself as opposed to the Parliament saying they fired me because I was not coming to Parliament. This is the decision that I have made.”
Labode said she resolved to go to Parliament and be given the car before she is fired, adding Chamisa and the MDC’s National Executive Council were free to take any disciplinary measures against her.
“In the eyes of the party obviously I have done wrong, I have defied the instruction,” said Labode.
“I have defied it and those people who were supposed to protect and be in solidarity with them were long given their cars. Why were we then supposed to suffer? Some of us are not healthy, maybe God has said we must go and sit down and allow young people to carry on this job. None of us was born to die an MP and God always has his way.”
She, however, said she remained in support of Chamisa.
“If there is a congress, this one of the 2014 (structures), I will certainly go and vote for Chamisa,” Labode said.
“I don’t need to be an MP. I will take my car in Bulawayo and drive to where there will be elections and vote for him.”
Labode went on to distance herself from MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, as per the 2014 structures.
“And I will say it: I am not a Mwonzora person and I will not be,” she said.
“But I also respect the decision that the National Council will take because I have since pondered, internalised and accepted it.”