Tuesday, 3 November 2020

FIGHTING ROCKS MDC T AHEAD OF CONGRESS

 NEW fissures have erupted in the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC as some of its leaders intend to block the Supreme Court-ordered December extra-ordinary congress to elect a new president for the party.

This comes as secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, chairman Morgen Komichi, his vice Elias Mudzuri and Khupe are all vying to succeed the late founding father of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, who died in February 2018.

According to sources, Khupe and Komichi were reportedly working to block the congress as they feared defeat by Mwonzora, who appears to have an upper hand.

MDC spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that they were considering postponing the congress because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“That’s responsible leadership to consider the dangers of Covid-19. We should have held our nomination this weekend. The police refused to sanction the nomination, and said you cannot gather because of Covid-19. They are correct because Covid-19 is a reality. Some countries have decided to ignore Covid-19 and see what is happening now.

“We will not allow the people to die in the name of the extraordinary congress. You can see even the ruling party postponed its conference. The standing committee will meet this week and decide the way forward,” Phugeni said.

However, Mwonzora said the congress would go ahead.

“We had a meeting in Harare and confirmed the dates of the nominations which follow the resolutions of the national executives and national council of October 18. The congress must be held following provincial nominations. I am aware that individual leaders are preparing for the nomination,” Mwonzora said.

This comes after the Supreme Court recently gave Khupe up to November 30 to hold the party’s extra-ordinary congress to elect a new president. In the event of her failure to do so, the court directed that Komichi should do it by December 30.

Khupe had approached the Supreme Court seeking guidance on the matter after the same court in March ordered the MDC to hold an elective congress within three months.

However, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the party has been failing to hold the congress. The MDC then made an application at the Supreme Court on July 29 seeking an extension to Khupe’s current term.

The Supreme Court judgment spells out that Khupe is the legitimate heir to take over the leadership of the party, albeit on an interim basis.

Since the ruling, which reposed powers in Khupe, there has been unending drama as 31 legislators have so far been recalled from Parliament and councils for “ceasing to be party members” of the party by siding with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

Khupe has since expelled Chamisa from the party. According to the MDC constitution, at least two thirds of the  6 000 delegates form a quorum for congress although a simple majority can proceed provided that a proper congress is held within six months. Daily News

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