Khupe faction holds extraordinary congress

BULAWAYO - MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and human rights activist Linda Masarira are expected to participate at the extraordinary congress of a breakaway MDC faction led by expelled deputy president Thokozani Khupe.

According to a list of contestants seen by this paper, a number of candidates eyeing top posts will battle it out at the event that has been slated for Stanley Square today.

The congress will be held under the theme: “Building a New Zimbabwe anchored on constitutionalism, the rule of law, tolerance, love, peace and solidarity.”

Organisers said about 3 000 delegates, including those from other opposition parties, are expected to attend.

Reports indicated that Mwonzora, who has appeared to be part of the MDC president Nelson Chamisa camp, might cross the floor to the Khupe camp where he is set to battle out with human rights activist Nixon Nyikadzino and lawyer Anorld Tsunga for the secretary-general post.

On the other hand, Masarira who is unchallenged on the nomination list, will fill up the party’s spokesperson post while Obert Gutu is eyeing the deputy presidency post together with Elias Mudzuri. Contacted for comment, Mudzuri  distanced himself from the congress saying curtly:  “I am not aware of that congress, I am only hearing it from you and how do I become part of something that I am not aware of.”

Mwonzora declined to comment.

Khupe’s personal assistant Witness Dube confirmed the authenticity of the list adding that they have done everything withing their power to ensure the success of the event.

“We have been, and we are working with all law enforcement agencies in order to guarantee security to delegates at our congress, including even at pick up points.”

He also indicated that an unamed Malawian opposition leader was going to be the guest of honour at the event.

Former MDC organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe is reportedly eyeing the position of party chairperson while activist Yvonne Musarurwa is reportedly unchallenged to land the post of organising secretary.

Tsholotsho legislator Lwazi Sibanda and Bulawayo proportional representation legislator Dorothy Mpofu are eyeing the women’s chairperson post.

Activists Fungai Masaiti and Isabel Mwonzora are contesting for the post of youth assembly chairperson.

According to an internal congress document gleaned by this paper, major constitutional changes expected at the congress include the abolishing of the positions of deputy chairperson and deputy treasurer, as well as the appointment of any standing committee members.

The document also revealed that the presidential term limits are expected to be set as two five-year terms.

“Gender and youth mainstreaming will also be major constitutional provisions as provincial chairpersons of main, women and youth wings will now all be automatic national executive members, with the president appointing very few special interests groups on a 50-50 gender basis,” reads the document in part.

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