Kwinjeh eyes parly seat

HARARE - Grace Kwinjeh, a journalist-cum-political activist credited with coining the name Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has announced her bid for Parliament.

Kwinjeh, who left journalism to pursue politics, says she wants to stand for the Makoni Central parliamentary seat in the forthcoming elections on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC ticket.

“On Page 2 (January the 2nd) of Chapter 2013 in the book of our lives, we learn that we are the authors of our own history,” Kwinjeh said in a Facebook post yesterday.

“Let’s write an enduring legacy for our great-grandchildren with a simple X on the ballot box. Yes, Grace Kwinjeh for MP.”

Kwinjeh, a journalist and fearless campaigner for women’s rights, was recently honoured by her party for coining the name ‘‘Movement for Democratic Change’’ at the party’s inception in 1999.

Kwinjeh, who is now the party’s global advocacy campaign representative, told reporters at that time how she came up with the party name.

“We discussed many options but I remember specifically explaining that we are a movement that is demanding change through the ballot box,” Kwinjeh said.

“Others suggested workers party because of the trade union base, but then that would have excluded students, women and others.

“I explained the concept, putting into context the definition of the name of a people’s movement that would not only take Zimbabweans by storm but Africa and the world too. That’s how the name MDC was born.”

A fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe’s regime, Kwinjeh has been arrested several times on trumped-up charges and has also been held in solitary confinement. She was one of the civic and political leaders brutally tortured on March 11 2007 together with Tsvangirai.

They were severely tortured and assaulted in police custody.

Kwinjeh and Sekai Holland, co-minister of National Healing had to be airlifted to South Africa for urgent treatment. - Margaret Chinowaita

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