MDC will spend close to $2 million on 6 000 delegates who will attend a crunching May 24 electoral congress in Gweru as the party seeks to chart a new way forward following the death of its founding President Morgan Tsvangirai.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The congress, which will either make or break the MDC, will most likely confirm Nelson Chamisa as new party president after the youthful leader managed to bag 12 nominations from 12 provincial congresses held so far. One province, South Africa, is still outstanding.
Other political players will still face cliff hanger fights as they battle to remain politically relevant in the party and country as battle lines have already been drawn on the influential positions of vice-presidents, secretary-general, treasurer general and spokesperson with party heavy weights set to trade pound for pound.
Chamisa confirmed that 6 000 delegates will decide the fate of close to 30 party stalwarts who are looking to find place in the 10 member standing committee directly elected at congress.
“We have a membership of over a million people, but as we go for congress we will only have 6 000 delegates attending in a representative capacity, but we want to ensure that the leaders are acceptable not just to our members of the 6 000 delegate, but also to the general populace. This is why we are opening a campaign season in the form on town hall meetings,” said Chamisa.
Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume could not confirm the actual figures the party will have to mobilise for its congress, but said it will run into millions.
“Treasury is working on the figures, but we can’t even conclusively say how much will be used because prices are changing on a daily bases and, therefore, it becomes difficult to say, but it will run into millions,” he said.
The party, which is struggling financially, said it will largely rely on its members and other well-wishers to fund the congress.
“We have to rely on our members and well-wishers, especially seeing that government is withholding our share from the Political Parties Finance Act, we have not been given our money so we will find alternative ways,” Mafume said.