Monday, March 20, 2006

MDC Congress a Success

The anti-senate faction of the MDC held their congress just outside the business district in Harare over the weekend. Most reports have been waxing about how much bigger this congress was compared to the other faction's congress. The anti-senate congress attracted over 14,000 delegates from across the country evincing Tsvangirai's sustained popularity despite the turbulant times he's endured lately.

Tsvangirai was reelected unopposed as the MDC leader of the party's National Standing Committe. Seizing on the opportunity, Tsvangirai returned to his vintage form posturing as civic leader in his speech,
"I call upon you once again to heed the calls coming from your leadership for a sustained cold season of peaceful democratic resistance. The phase that we have entered calls upon every one of us to endure the pain and resolutely fight for freedom. In summary, our experience shows us that while we managed to shake the regime with action in March 2003 and in June 2003, we did not move sufficiently to cause meaningful democratic change in our society. The options open to us are very clear: we need a short, sharp programme of action to free ourselves.
Elections at the congress have been criticized for regressing the party's gender and tribal balance. From NewZimbabwe;
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the fractured Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) retained his position unchallenged. He heads the party's National Standing Committee which only has one woman.

The committee has no representative from the minority Ndebele population in a substantive position, save for Thokozani Khupe and Lovemore Moyo who were only elected as deputies to Tsvangirai and Isaac Matongo (national chairman) respectively.
Meanwhile Arthur Mutambara addressed a rally in Bulawayo over the weekend where he accused Tsvangirai of dictatorship. With 4,000 people turning out for the Mutambara rally, it is clear the two factions will have to battle it out to the end because they can both claim some support from the people. Both factions seem to have no intentions to mend the rift.

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