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MDC-T to combine congresses


THE MDC-T is reportedly planning to have its women, youth and main congresses held simultaneously in October this year as a cost-cutting measure.


Sources in the MDC-T told NewsDay yesterday that plans to have a single congress came about after the party leadership realised that there was little time left for the different wings to mobilise financial resources for three separate congresses.

The MDC-T congress, which was initially pencilled for 2016, was brought forward to October this year, following the departure of some top party leaders, among them secretary-general Tendai Biti and deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, amid calls for leadership renewal.

The party’s traditional donors also reportedly withdrew their funding of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party following the split.

“We are struggling to raise enough funding for the congress this year and the party may be forced to host the congresses concurrently to save money or even severely cut the number of delegates attending congresses,” the source said.

MDC-T deputy spokesman Abednico Bhebhe confirmed yesterday that they were yet to secure enough funding for the congress.

“You can never have enough resources in this country in this environment. But we remain hopeful that we will manage to raise all the money we want because God is with us,” Bhebhe said without disclosing how much money was required to fund the party’s congress.

He added: “The venue has not yet been finalised, but women and youth congresses will be held a day before the main wing congress.”

Meanwhile, the MDC-T’s proposed constitutional changes that would have seen Tsvangirai wielding powers to appoint the executive have reportedly been shot down by the party’s grassroots membership as they were deemed to be undemocratic.

Among the proposed amendments is the weakening of the secretary-general’s office, allowing the president to appoint the standing committee and creating a second vice-president’s post.

Tsvangirai is expected to steamroll over Elias Mudzuri’s token opposition for the presidency. However, there is serious jostling for the other standing committee positions among the Tsvangirai loyalists.

Women’s Assembly boss Theresa Makone has her sights set on the treasurer-general’s post which current deputy secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada is also eyeing.

Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora is set to fight it out with national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa for the secretary-general’s post.

Another bruising contest will be for the second vice-presidency if passed which both national chairman Lovemore Moyo and deputy chairman Morgen Komichi are hoping to land through a presidential appointment.

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