via Khupe under threat – DailyNews Live 4 July 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – The MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai has rolled out its much-awaited congress starting at ward levels — with the party vice presidency likely to be contested at the main event to be held in October.
Although the MDC has rolled out congresses at the lower levels — it is yet to come up with dates and the venue for the main event where the vice president’s position currently occupied by Thokozani Khupe will be contested.
Sources told the Daily News that contesting for the VP post is in line with the country’s new constitution which stipulates that a president should have a running mate.
In spite of media claims that MDC was struggling to raise funds for the event, Nelson Chamisa, the party organising secretary told the Daily News yesterday that supporters and structures are ready to provide resources.
The MDC is currently broke after it was ditched by its traditional donors — and has been piling up pressure on the cash-strapped government to provide it with money that is provided under the Political Parties Finance Act.
The Act stipulates that a party that garners at least five percent of the national vote is entitled to public funds — but the broke Treasury is yet to release a penny — not only to the MDC but also to Zanu PF.
A flight of donors as well as political infighting has left Tsvangirai’s movement in dire straits but Chamisa said the congress offers a window of opportunity to redress the situation.
“The congress is not only about leadership posts.
“It is an important platform to rejuvenate the party and revisit our internal democracy, we also want to define the policy trajectory so that we have a response to the challenges that Zimbabweans have,” said Chamisa.
Tsvangirai, who has been at the helm of the opposition movement for the past 15 years is likely to retain his post, as he still commands a lot of support from the structures — but has come under heavy criticism from his former allies Tendai Biti and Mangoma, who accuse him of flouting the party constitution and possessing dictatorial tendencies.
Still reeling from the shock manoeuvres of former secretary-general Biti and deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma to suspend Tsvangirai, the MDC hopes that the congress will provide a platform for “rejuvenation and renewal”.