IN YET another sign of the chaos that has been engulfing the opposition, the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC yesterday cancelled its much-anticipated extraordinary congress hours before it was due, citing logistical challenges, the Daily News On Sunday reports.
At the same time, sources within the MDC said the postponement had been caused by a shambolic voters’ roll which was rejected by most bigwigs.
All this comes as the MDC has been teetering on the brink ever since the death of its much-loved founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost his valiant battle with cancer of the colon in February 2018.
MDC spokesperson Tapiwa Mashakada yesterday said the congress would be held on the 27th.
“I have to advise all our MDC … party structures, supporters, and delegates that the much- awaited EOC has been postponed…
“This development has been necessitated by logistical challenges that we had underestimated and these are being sorted out so that the party holds a seamless extraordinary congress
“The decision to postpone congress was arrived at after all the contestants agreed that more preparations needed to be done in order to deliver a credible congress that will reflect the will of the 4 500 MDC … delegates,” Mashakada said.
This comes as the run up to the congress had been marred by serious mudslinging among some of the candidates.
Last week, expelled MDC organising secretary, Abednico Bhebhe sought to have the congress stopped by filing an urgent application at the High Court.
The government had allowed the MDC to go ahead with its extraordinary congress, albeit in a devolved manner, to protect delegates from Covid-19 infections.
The congress was to be held simultaneously in five provinces around the country.
Harare, Chitungwiza, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Central provinces were grouped together in the capital.
Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South provinces were to meet in Bulawayo.
Midlands North and South were to congregate in Kwekwe or Gweru depending on the availability of the venue.
Manicaland on the other hand was meeting in Mutare while Masvingo province was to have their own congress in Masvingo.
Khupe was due to contest against MDC national chairperson, Morgen Komichi, secretary -general, Douglas Mwonzora and deputy chairperson, Elias Mudzuri
The congress had been initially scheduled for July 31 before it was cancelled by authorities due to Covid-19.
The Supreme Court then gave the party up to end of this month to hold its congress.
Khupe and MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, have been brawling for the control of the party since Tsvangirai’s death from colon cancer on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
The party’s infighting escalated after the Supreme Court’s judgment in March upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court that nullified Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the country’s biggest opposition party.