Thokozani Khupe has been the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity since 11 February 2009. She is the first woman appointed to this post since Zimbabwe’s independence. She is also the Vice President of theMovement for Democratic Change (MDC) whom she represents in parliament. Since 2000, she has been the deputy chairperson of the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus and has recently been appointed Humanitarian Coordinator. Thokozani Khupe has three children.
Thokozani Khupe has been a determined unionist whose career in the labour movement spans 25 years. As a trade unionist, she served in the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railway Union (ZARU) and as Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Women’s Advisory Council, where she was also a General Council member. Thus, she is involved in a large number of social issues that affect people in Zimbabwe. “I believe in the work we do together. […] Together we will rally the people for a new Zimbabwe”, she said in her speech when appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
As part of the government's efforts to empower women, the Deputy Prime Minister’s office is working with banks on a facility to finance women's business ventures. During the recent launch of the Women's Charter in Harare, Khupe spoke about a project that would enable women to acquire working capital from financial institutions. “My office is making frantic efforts to establish a way to finance women doing business and those who intend to in the country”.
The Deputy Prime Minister has also challenged policymakers to recognise the role of women in economic development and move away from the patriarchal habit of looking at them as mere housewives. She urged women to take advantage of the ongoing constitution-making process to aggressively advocate appropriate policies regarding their access to land and the provision of farming inputs.
Thokozani Khupi did a course in information technology at the Centre in Turin in 1999.