Khupe congress: supporters near blows over Linda Masarira election

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Bulawayo Correspondent

SUPPORTERS of the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T faction nearly exchanged blows at the party’s Saturday congress in Bulawayo over the election of human rights campaigner Linda Masarira.

The activist was elected secretary for information and publicity, in a development which incensed some supporters who argued that Masarira was not an MDC–T member.

“What we have seen here is election chicanery,” said Morgan Moyo, organising secretary for party’s South Africa branch.

“How can Linda be elected information and publicity secretary when she has not been in the structures of the party?

“We are accusing other people of violating the party’s constitution and yet we are busy allocating posts to friends. This is rubbish!”

Moyo had a heated exchange of words with Khupe’s personal assistant Witness Dube who defended Masarira’s election.

“You just want to cause trouble here. Linda was nominated and elected above aboard. There is nothing which you can do because she was elected,” retorted Dube.

Moyo said the party’s South Africa branch will not recognise the human rights activist because she was “imposed”.

The disgruntled supporters threatened to beat Masaarira up but the activist, who was seated at high table, remained calm during the drama.

Meanwhile, the nomination of former Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ) official Mthokozisi Ncube as the MDC-T’s youth wing chairperson also caused a stir.

“We cannot have Ncube as our youth chairperson. All along he has been a member of PDZ and now you want him to be our youth chair.

“We cannot accept that nonsense,” said one activist Malvern Sibanda.

Ncube‘s candidature was eventually withdrawn after intense pressure.  

Before the start of the congress, delegates from Mashonaland, Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland could be heard openly protesting what they described as the dominance of Ndebele-speaking people in the national standing committee.

“This thing is not for one province only,” one delegate complained.

“We cannot have the president, national chairman, treasurer –general and secretary general coming from one province.”