MDC-T president Douglas Mwonzora yesterday announced that hi party will hold a general congress on 5 March, just three weeks before the by-elections set for 26 March 2022.
The announcement by Mwonzora came as two MDC-T aspiring councillors linked to party deputy president Thokozani Khupe withdrew their candidature for Bulawayo council by-elections, leading to conclusions that the former deputy Prime Minister was giving up hope of challenging Mwonzora for control of the party.
Mwonzora, however, indicated that all positions would be up for grabs and all qualifying members had a free opportunity to contest for any positions of their choice, opening the floor in a manner not seen in nearly all political parties on the Zimbabwean landscape.
“In the MDC-T, it is not an offence to contest, so those who are hopeful and qualify are allowed to contest,” Mwonzora said.
“The national council (NC) directed that the party will hold its congress on March 5. This will be the ordinary congress. The main congress will be preceded by congress and branch, ward, district and provincial level.”
But in Bulawayo, two grassroots politician with links to Khupe withdrew from the race to contests in the 26 March by-elections. The two, Sibusisiswe Adams and Shilla Musonda communicated their positions to the party leadership through two separates letters written to MDC-T secretary general Paurina Mpariwa.
“I, Sibusisiswe Adams hereby withdraw my candidature in ward 9 by-elections. Can I be removed from your list of candidates,” Adams wrote on 7 January.
Musonda also wrote on 7 January, saying: “I Shilla Musonda nee Nkomo would like to notify you of my withdrawal from the candidate list in ward 8 by-election. I would be glad if your office can withdraw my name from the candidates list.”
The two did not disclose reasons behind their withdrawal.