Khupe sets new congress dates

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Mugove Tafirenyika

INTERIM MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe has set September 4 to 6 as the new dates the party will hold its court-directed extra-ordinary congress where a new substantive party boss will be chosen.

This comes after the MDC’s interim leadership held a virtual national council meeting last month, where a number of key decisions were taken — including the scheduling at the time of the July 31 extra-ordinary congress date.
It also comes as the senseless ructions that have been devouring the country’s main opposition party, ever since its much-loved founding father Morgan Tsvangirai died from colon cancer in February 2018, continue to deepen.
MDC-T deputy spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni  told journalists at the party’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House headquarters that the decision to push forward the gathering was informed by the party’s desire to ensure public safety.
Phugeni said that the new dates were, however, subject to change depending on the Health ministry’s advice in view of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that disallows large gatherings of more than 50 people.
“The national standing committee is currently meeting and some of the issues that have been discussed so far include the setting of the dates for our extraordinary congress. It will be held on the 4th to the 6th of September, 2020. The dates could change because we will be consulting with health authorities because there are public health imperatives, so those will lead us,” Phugeni said.
Recently, MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said the new dates would not be a violation of the March Supreme Court ruling which directed that the extra-ordinary congress be held within three months from the day that judgment was handed down, as the court had allowed them a six-week extension.
“When the ruling was handed down, the Chief Justice (Luke Malaba) made a blanket extension of time limits by six weeks.
“The three months deadline was due to expire on July 31, but there is a six-week period we were given — which means that the extra-ordinary congress will have to be held on or before the 15th of September. We are, therefore, working on any date between now and then,” Mwonzora said.

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