MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe yesterday said she would not allow MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s backers, including recalled MPs and councillors, to take part at her party’s forthcoming extra-ordinary congress, whose deadline has been extended to November 30.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ Brenna Matendere
Khupe’s announcement comes after the standing committee members of the MDC-T, most of them perceived as Chamisa’s loyalists, issued a statement acknowledging the Supreme Court ruling that ordered the congress and confirming their participation at the indaba.
Chamisa and some of his loyalists had previously refused to acknowledge the ruling, but changed tact after several recalls of MDC Alliance MPs and councillors by Khupe.
Addressing the Press, MDC-T interim secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said they had shut the door for Chamisa’s allies either fired from the party or recalled from Parliament and council.
“These congress processes are open to MDC-T people only,” Mwonzora told at a Press briefing held in Hatfield after party youths took over Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House.
“All those people who have been recalled are not eligible as candidates or as participants, they are not our members. Similarly, all those people who are national executive members, national council members of other political parties other than the MDC-T cannot take part in the congress processes.”
Khupe has recalled 32 MDC Alliance MPs and 165 councillors following the March 30 Supreme Court ruling, which recognised her as interim party leader following the death of founder Morgan Tsvangirai.
The majority of the recalled MPs and councillors held key positions in the MDC-T’s 2014 structures.
Mwonzora said they would now meet the national executive and national council to kickstart preparations for the extraordinary congress with the national executive convening on October 9, and national council on October 11.
In a statement, Chamisa’s loyalists said they had resolved to acknowlegde the Supreme Court ruling in order to participate at the congress.
“We have noted the judgment of the Supreme Court on extending the timelines for holding of the EOC for the MDC,” part of the statement read.
“In light of this, we would like the 2014 organs of the party to convene and craft a roadmap for the congress. The organs which are constitutionally mandated to do so are the national executive committee and the national council.”
After failing to convene the congress by July 31 as ordered by the Supreme Court, Khupe and Mwonzora approached the court to alter the dates.
The court gave Khupe up to November 30 to organise the congress to resolve the chaos centred on the party leadership although Khupe and Chamisa contested the 2018 polls under different banners.