PREPARATIONS for the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T party’s elective congress are on course following a Supreme Court ruling, with at least 4 500 delegates expected to attend, an official has said. The Supreme Court declared Dr Thokozani Khupe the legitimate acting leader of the opposition and that the party should go back to its 2014 structures before calling for a congress in 90 days.
The judgment settles the leadership wrangle between Mr Nelson Chamisa, who led a grouping of political parties calling itself the MDC-Alliance in the 2018 harmonised elections and Dr Khupe.
In an interview, Mr Douglas Mwonzora, who reverted to being MDC-T secretary-general, said the congress was expected soon.
“We are supposed to hold the congress within three months of the Supreme Court judgment,” he said.
“We expect to announce the dates and venue of the congress by end of April. If the lockdown is extended, we will advise the delegates by a public notice issued to delegates exactly 30 days before the actual date of the congress.”
He said they were compiling a database for delegates expected to attend the elective indaba.
“So far our staff is compiling the information of all the delegates so that accreditation will be easy,” said Mr Mwonzora.
“After compiling the data, there is going to be a process of verifying delegates lists which is also the voter’s roll.”
All members of the standing committees, the national executives, provincial executive and districts executive representatives and all the chairpersons of the ward executive committees are part of the delegates.
“We are receiving messages which show that our people are looking forward to this congress.
“The congress is an opportunity to settle the MDC leadership wrangle, which Chamisa grabbed through unconstitutional means.”
Mr Mwonzora said there was need to adhere to the laws of the land.
“The party members view it as an opportunity to settle the MDC leadership once and for all,” he said.
Mr Chamisa was welcome and free to put his candidature at the congress, said Mr Mwonzora.
He warned party members against engaging in violence.
“I emphasise that the purpose of this congress is not a witch-hunt or to get rid of any person,” said Mr Mwonzora.
“We appeal to all our members to exercise restraint and not engage in acts of violence.
“We all urge them to desist from hate language against each other.”