THE Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T has plunged further into chaos with Elias Mudzuri, one of the party presidential hopefuls, rubbishing calls by some of the party bigwigs to hold a virtual extraordinary congress.
Mudzuri yesterday described the decision by some of the presidential hopefuls to hold a virtual congress as “unacceptable and impossible”.
MDC T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora last week said the party was mulling a virtual extraordinary congress to elect a replacement of the late former party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who succumbed to colon cancer in February 2018.
He argued that the congress should be held virtually as it was now difficult to assemble over 4 000 delegates for the congress due to strict COVID-19 lockdown regulations that prohibit gatherings.
Mwonzora said another option would be to decentralise the congress.
But Mudzuri told NewsDay that the move was a ploy to disenfranchise thousands of potential delegates, a position that has exposed deep-rooted divisions in the battle to replace Tsvangirai.
The extraordinary congress is scheduled for December 12 to 20.
“The proposed virtual voting at the MDC’s extraordinary congress is unacceptable and is not an option. It disenfranchises many delegates who don’t have appropriate phones,” Mudzuri said.
“Virtual voting cannot happen because of obstacles. We don’t have technology that can sustain that virtual process. We need something that is workable for the rural and urban structures to work with,” he said.
“People cannot afford data costs right now and the worst problem is who is responsible for running that virtual process? Who can run that? Who is independent?”
Mudzuri said there was need for comprehensive debate on the matter to deal with all issues that may affect the running of the extraordinary congress.
“It is something that came for debate and we are talking of a national election to choose a leader of the opposition so this is subject for debate.”
The party has been hard hit by internal conflicts since March on how best to proceed with the congress.
Accusations have been made against Mwonzora of late over his handling of the process, but the party secretary-general has on several occasions rubbished the claims.
The party was forced to set aside provincial nominations for candidates ahead of congress. The four candidates are Khupe, Mwonzora, Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi.
Abednico Bhebhe, the party national organising secretary, who had thrown his hat in the ring ahead of the extraordinary congress, was fired for allegedly challenging the processes leading to the extraordinary congress in the courts.