‘Iron Lady’ Theresa Makone retains post

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Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone has retained the MDC-T women’s assembly’s chairmanship while Solomom Madzore claimed the youth assembly leadership.

The development came at a time when campaigning for the party’s top post, to be conducted today, reached fever pitch.

A list of people, dubbed “team yamudhara” (old man’s team), who were said to be the preferred choices of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was being circulated among delegates.

The list had Tsvangirai as president, Thokhozani Khupe as deputy president, Lovemore Moyo (national chairman), Tendai Biti (secretary- general), Nelson Chamisa (organising secretary), Tongai Matutu (spokesman), Abedinigo Bhebhe (vice-organising secretary), Roy Bennett (treasurer-general), and Elton Mangoma (deputy treasurer).

The women’s and youth elections were held from Thursday night and spilled into yesterday morning.
Makone beat Editor Matamisa in an election that swept all her running mates, dubbed “the winning team” to power.

Enna Chitsa was elected vice-chairperson, Lynette Kore the organising secretary while Josephine Chitembwe got the vice-organising secretary post.

Siphiwe Banda was elected treasurer with the secretary for information and publicity post going to Memory Munochinzwa.

Sibusiswe Masara was elected secretary and will be deputised by Margaret Matienga.

While women settled for continuity, the party’s Young Turks opted for change and elected Madzore, who takes over from Thamsanqa Mahlangu.

Former student leader Promise Mkhwanazi won the secretary-general’s contest.

Costa Machingauta was elected vice-chairman while Simangaliso Chikadaya was elected the organising secretary and will be deputised by Mpumelelo Ndlovu.

The youth elected Mukombwi Dube as treasurer and Clifford Hlatshwayo as the secretary for information and publicity.

Meanwhile jockeying and campaigning continued ahead of the elections for the main wing set for Saturday.

Most of the candidates vying for posts had set up campaign teams which were going around distributing flyers and selling their manifestos.

Some candidates had colourful posters and banners which their campaign teams showcasing while others had them stuck on vehicles.

Seemingly confident national organising secretary Elias Mudzuri who is being challenged by Chamisa, was directing operations at the congress, but while he was doing so, a team was going around decampaigning him.

Chamisa also appeared confident, dancing to music even before the congress started.
Deputy Prime Minister and MDC-T vice-president Khupe faces a challenge from Norman Mabhena, a party national executive member, and Tabitha Khumalo, the deputy national spokesperson.

National chairperson Moyo is being challenged by firebrand trade unionist Lucia Matibenga.
Biti the party’s secretary- general, is battling Eliphas Mukonoweshuro while lawyers Douglas Mwonzora and Tongai Matutu slug it out for the party spokesperson’s position.

Former Nkayi South MP Abednico Bhebhe and Thamsanqa Mahlangu are vying for the deputy organising secretary post.

The post of deputy chairperson will be contested by Morgan Komichi, Blessing Chebundo and Alexio Masundire. Senior party cadre Gift Chimanikire, the current deputy secretary-general, Tapiwa Mashakada, Bekithemba Mpofu and secretary for labour Paurina Mpariwa Gwanyanya will be fighting for the post of deputy secretary-general.

Ministers Elton Mangoma, Sekai Holland and Samuel Sipepa Nkomo are vying for the deputy treasurer-general’s post.