MDC-T acting president Thokozani Khupe plans to approach the Supreme Court to seek extension of her tenure at the helm of the opposition party without going to the extra-ordinary congress due to “circumstances beyond her control,” her party has said.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Party deputy spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni said with 10 days remaining to the congress scheduled on July 31, it had become clear to the MDC-T that they would not be able to gather 5 000 delegates in Harare to elect a new leader who would replace the late Morgan Tsvangirai.
“The standing committee has called for the extra-ordinary congress, we have tried everything humanly possible but the police and the health officials have said we can’t proceed,” he said.
“We have decided to put science ahead of politics and, therefore, we have instructed our lawyers to approach the Supreme Court to seek a deferment of the congress date.”
Party structures, mostly those loyal to secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, who is seen as the top contender for the presidency, have been pushing for the congress to go ahead.
Fungai Chiposi, who backs Mwonzora and works in the MDC-T information department, had indicated that nominations for the presidency would start after the standing committee meeting held yesterday, with Harare province leading the process.
Phugeni said it was not the party position and could not give details on when the congress would be held if the courts grant the anticipated extension.
“We can’t tell you the date because we don’t want to have a situation where we give you dates and then we fail again, so we don’t have any dates so far,” he said.
Phugeni also said the MDC -T had also prepared names for the replacement of MDC Alliance legislators fired from Parliament by Mwonzora for backing Nelson Chamisa.
“We have the names and this was not done with the involvement of the president. She left it in the hands of the national chairman (Morgen Komichi) and the women’s assembly chairperson. Senate provincial assemblies have been asked to make the nominations,” Phugeni said.
The party was yet to release the names by the time of going to print last night amid allegations that Khupe had roped in her loyalists who lost in the 2018 general elections to enter Parliament through the backdoor.