MDC readies for congress

HARARE - Jostling for positions has intensified in the MDC as the party embarks on a restructuring exercise ahead of its main congress in October with lower structure congresses set to begin next week.

The lower level structure congresses — a prelude to the main congress — will begin at branch level to fill voids left by members who broke ranks to join the Renewal Team led by former secretary-general Tendai Biti as well as elect new leaders.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson  yesterday told the Daily News that all was set for the congresses.

“We are having a meeting with Harare province right now to give them the programme which will lead to the October congress,” said Mwonzora.

It is from the results of these lower congresses where votes for the national leadership are canvassed.

The branch elects the ward which in turn elects members of the district and then the province where national executive members, including the presidency, are elected.

Such is the importance of the programme that party bigwigs eyeing positions in the national executive have since deployed their foot soldiers to canvass for support for their preferred candidates.

An MDC national executive member told the Daily News on condition of anonymity that given that party president Morgan Tsvangirai will likely face his first ever internal challenge for presidency from former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri, he also has his sidekicks on the ground.

The official said Tsvangirai’s camp is keen on persuading Mudzuri not to contest the presidency in return for a second vice presidency post that will be created by an envisaged change of the party’s constitution.

If Mudzuri accepts the Tsvangirai camp’s offer, he will however, have to battle it out with the party’s deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi — a known Tsvangirai ally who is also reportedly eying the post.

Thokozani Khupe is set to retain her post as the first vice president.

“The game is on and everybody in the top echelons of the party who aspires for a new post or to retain what they have  is in the trenches because if you lose out on the branch, district and provincial congresses you will not catch up because these structures form the electoral college at the main congress,” said the official.

The official said Mwonzora was torn between challenging for the secretary general’s post — allegedly also coveted by national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa — and tussling with national executive members Murisi Zwizwai and Amos Chibaya to replace Chamisa.

Women’s Assembly boss Theresa Makone who is reported to be gunning to replace Roy Bennett as treasurer-general will likely be replaced by former Labour and Social minister Paurina Mpariwa or Women’s Assembly secretary-general and Matabeleland North Senator, Sibusisiwe Budha-Masara who are both eyeing the women’s post according to the official.

The acting secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada has also set his eyes on the treasurer-general’s portfolio, meaning he could square off with Makone.

Chamisa’s deputy Abednico Bhebhe and Thamsanqa Manhlangu, are reportedly eyeing the deputy national chairperson’s and deputy national organising secretary posts respectively, while former speaker and national chairman Lovemore Moyo will likely retain his post.

“Youth Assembly national members who include spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo, secretary for security James Chidakwa  and Bvondo (first name not supplied) will square off for the post of youth president  while Shakespear Mukoyi, the Harare provincial youth chairman wants to become  vice president,” the official added.

Godfrey Sithole, Chitungwiza North MP who is also the youth chairman for the district is also reportedly in the running for the youth president post.

MDC returnees Job Sikhala, Joubert Mudzumwe and Edward Mkhosi will also contest for top positions.

Besides Mudzuri potentially challenging Tsvangirai and the battles for other national executive posts, the other highlights of the congress will be in provinces where the jostling is beginning to take a nasty shape as smear campaigning has become the order of the day.

“The real fight is in the provinces where factions have emerged with candidates accusing each other of being pro-Renewal Team just to smear each other ahead of the congress.

“In Chitungwiza for example, incumbent provincial chairman Alexei Musundire is wrongly being accused of being in that camp (Renewal Team) by supporters of businessman Fortune Mangwiro from Mhondoro as well as a member of his current executive Win Kunaka who is also eyeing the position," said the official.

Comments (14)

What a shame, a new constitution which creates two vice presidents' post masiyanei ne Zanu PF zvamayishora ku Zanu PF ndozvamakuita munoshamisa

Nyamhangambiri - 23 June 2014

TSVANGIRAI will win haticheuke mirdzo

kumakomo - 23 June 2014

Nyamhangambiri, the post of two vice presidents is no longer a ZANU PF thing. Mind you, you voted for this in the new national constitution. MDC cannot be seen to be going against the wishes of the people who voted the new constitution into place. Let it be.

Boterekwa - 23 June 2014

Thank you Daily News for being the only news outlet that still reports on the MDC and Zimbabwe fairly and accurately. Only today I was reading the Herald where one Mduduzi Mathuthu (supposedly editor of the Chronicle) confirmed many people's long-held suspicions that the Herald, NewZimbabwe.com, Mathuthu himself, NewZimbabwe.com editor Gilbert Nyambabvu, Zanu PF, Amai Jukwa and Baba Jukwa are all closely connected. It is both frightening and dispiriting. Who do Zimbabweans trust then in these difficult times.

Moses - 23 June 2014

Moses, you can add the likes of Harvestlikis and Bulawayo24.com to the desperate regime's propaganda mouthpieces. The good thing is that everyone knows these open secrets.

Musorodamba - 23 June 2014

Yes DAILY NEWS reporting is first class although the paper annoys ZANU PF people. Anything against ZANU PF & in favour of MDC T is treated as biased reporting by these ZPF lunatics. Save usacheuka till we get into the new Zimbabwe. Change is unstoppable, even NIKUV may disturb but won't stop it.

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 24 June 2014

MUDZURI MUST LEAVE THIS POLITICALLY BANKRUPT OUTFIT AND JOIN THE RENEWAL TEAM

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