Friday, 26 April 2019


The MDC-Alliance national executive was last night left divided over the inclusion of a woman vice president as bickering continues to rock the opposition party ahead of its congress next month. There was heated debate on whether the party should earmark a woman as one of the vice presidents in line with international trends of upholding the women’s quota or that they should contest on an equal footing with their male counterparts.

So divided was the national executive that the issue was deferred for deliberation by the national council which is set to sit today.

At present the party has three vice presidents, namely Professor Welshman Ncube, Mr Morgen Komichi and Engineer Elias Mudzuri

At least four women have been nominated to contest the post of vice president during the provincial congresses but were selected to run alongside their male counterparts. 

The four are Mrs Lillian Timveous, Mrs Lynette Karenyi-Kakore, Ms Paurina Mpariwa and Mrs Theresa Makone who were nominated to contest alongside Messrs Tendai Biti, Murisi Zwizwai, Komichi and Prof Ncube.

A source who attended yesterday’s meeting that took more than five hours said there was a heated debate on how to handle the issue.

“Some people argued that we should respect the party and national constitution that provides for gender parity. They said at least one of the VPs should be a woman. One of those who argued for a female VP was the secretary-general, Mr Douglas Mwonzora.

“But others shot down the proposal arguing that it was untenable to introduce new rules when the election process was getting to its tail end. Those who opposed the idea on that basis included Prof Ncube, Biti and Komichi,” said a highly placed source. 

“President Nelson Chamisa was caught in between but from the look of it, he will be compelled to observe the party’s constitution. But at the end of the day the issue was deferred for further debate by the national council that is meeting tomorrow.”

When contacted, party spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume said the party was aware of its obligation to ensure gender parity but did not say how the issue was resolved.

“The issue of gender representation is in our constitution. It is an aspiration that we should have a 50-50 representation. Our members are clear on that and our constitution is clear on that. We will aspire to have it in terms of the constitutional provision,” said Mr Mafume.

Preparations for the congress have been characterised by bickering and accusations of vote fraud and manipulation. Herald


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