Too many unanswered questions as MDC congress draws closer


Zimbabwe’s leading opposition Movement for Democratic Change may be glossing over several issues that could derail its congress scheduled for 24- 26 May which is now only 11 weeks away.

While the key players are already jostling for positions, there are too many unanswered questions which would have raised hell in the privately-owned media had this been a Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front congress.

The privately-owned and online media- perhaps angling for the disgruntled urban base of the opposition- has done the opposition a great disservice by glossing over problems within the party.

Right now it is not clear which party is holding its congress in May.

For one, it cannot be the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance because if it was, this would not be the party’s 5th congress as president Nelson Chamisa recently proclaimed: “MDC 5th CONGRESS THEME:DEFINING A NEW COURSE FOR ZIMBABWE.”

The MDC-A has never held a congress.

The MDC-A is an alliance of seven politics parties:

  • Movement for Democratic Change- formerly led by Morgan Tsvangirai
  • Movement for Democratic Change-Ncube
  • People’s Democratic Party- Biti
  • Zimbabwe People First
  • Transform Zimbabwe
  • ZANU-Ndonga
  • Multi-Racial Christian Democracy

It is not clear whether these parties were formally dissolved after the 30 July elections to turn the Alliance into a political party as the Alliance was purely for election purposes.

The party which will be holding its 5th congress, is therefore, the MDC formerly led by Tsvangirai.

Leaders of the other six parties have largely been silent about the congress except for Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti who are vying for posts at the congress.

With so many lawyers in the opposition, it will not be surprising if technical issues are raised closer to the congress.

For starters, the so-called party spokesman Jacob Mafume, can be challenged because he belongs to Biti’s PDP and not the MDC formerly led by Tsvangirai which lost its MDC-T name to Thokozani Khupe.

It would appear, just like last year’s election, that Chamisa is focussing on the presidency of the party and nothing else. But this time, too much is at stake to ignore the party’s own constitution which some reports say has been withdrawn from public scrutiny.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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