Source: Chaotic scenes mar low-key MDC congress. –Newsday Zimbabwe
THERE were chaotic scenes at the MDC party congress in Harare yesterday where a party member, Silas Zakeu, was assaulted by fellow members for calling the leadership a ruling Zanu PF project.
The congress was also marred by a low turnout, which was much lower than the 2 500 delegates touted by the party’s leadership.MDC’s outgoing vice-president Elias Mudzuri snubbed the congress amid claims that he was not happy with the nomination process.
Zakeu, a organising member in Chitungwiza, was bashed for giving interviews to the Press attacking the party leadership.
He told journalists recently that a section of the MDC party leadership had been “bought by Zanu PF”.“There is no MDC to talk about. Some of the people are bogus, while others have been bought by Zanu PF. This is why Nelson Chamisa left the party,” Zakeu said, inviting the wrath of party supporters.
He was left for dead.
MDC party spokesperson Witness Dube said he was aware of the incident, adding that the party expected Mudzuri to attend the congress.
“On that (Zakeu) incident, it is unfortunate that this happened and it is unfortunate that he came to the venue in contradiction of what people have gathered for and obviously tempers were going to flare.“Mudzuri was expected to attend the congress to see the assumption and ordination of two vice-presidents,” Dube said.
Chief Ndlovu was elected the new first vice-president while Paurina Mpariwa became the second deputy leader.
Dube blamed the low turnout on the party’s lack of resources.
Most delegates had to pay their way to the one-day congress.
Addressing delegates in his opening remarks, party president Douglas Mwonzora said there were no resources.
“I want to thank you for coming to the congress. You know the party has no resources and you have not eaten anything since morning, but I would like to thank you for the sacrifice,” he said.
“We are the only credible party in the country. In the last by-elections, we fielded the largest number of women candidates. We are going to eliminate all forms of corruption. We are losing billions (of dollars) and we are going to provide enough foreign currency to our local authorities.”
Mwonzora had been dithering on congress dates until he elbowed out another presidential aspirant, Norest Marara.
Marara took Mwonzora to court over the matter.