MDC Alliance says its maiden congress as a united party is to be held no later than October 2019, as the party has started amalgamating structures of all the seven political parties.
The amalgamation process involves integrating structures – including assets – from branch level, up to national level.
In an interview with CITE, one of the party’s principals, Professor Welshman Ncube, confirmed the unification process is underway and so far there has been partial integration of leaders at national level.
“You have leaders of the alliance parties who have been integrated into a single structure at national level. There are other leaders at national level who have not been integrated that we hope will be integrated at whatever level it is possible to integrate them,” he said.
The integration is currently ongoing at district and ward level to make sure everybody who was or is in any of the structures of the seven political parties lands somewhere by the time congress starts, Prof Ncube noted.
“We believe that the backbone foundation of any political party organisation are the branches at the community level and that is work in progress. The target is by the time the congress is held hopefully no later than October of this year, which is the due date we would have completed this exercise. We have to go to congress with integrated branches,” he said.
“Most of the provinces have actually done the integration process and some who were leaders at provincial level have not been accommodated so far. Everybody must be in a structure, one form or another of the integrated party by time we get to congress.”
The MDC Alliance principal did concede that the integration process was not an easy task as anything in politics, which involved positions was difficult.
“But we are determined that we should complete this exercise as soon as possible so that when congress is called the exercise is complete,” Prof Ncube said.
As for assets owned by individual parties, the principal said they now belonged to MDC Alliance.
“The assets to any of the seven political entities become the assets of the integrated party so it’s a non-issue. For instances in Bulawayo there are offices belonging to MDC and MDC led by Chamisa. There are offices in Matabeleland South, there are vehicles and all go into the common pool of assets of the integrated party, that’s a given,” he assured.
The former cabinet minister explained the how-part of the integration, saying leaders at all levels would be elected by those with a mandate to elect them in terms of the constitution.
“When we talk about integration at branch level it means the members at each of branch and they are in the process of selecting or electing their leaders. Those branches have the responsibility to select their leaders when they come together in a particular ward. All the branches select their ward leaders to district level to provincial level and ultimately to congress at national level,” he said.
Prof Ncube stressed that MDC Alliance would subscribe to democratic rules and there was nothing to worry about.
“So, I don’t understand what the obsession around the issue of the integrated MDC congress is its going to be there. We are democrats, we are going to follow the constitution we are going to go to congress. We are going to elect a leadership,” he said.
“Those that are entitled to nominate leaders will exercise their right to nominate. Whoever is nominated and accepts nomination will face the electorate at congress and the electorate at congress will elect. That as I understand is internal democracy.”
According to a well-placed source in the MDC Alliance said president Nelson Chamisa is likely to face stiff challenge from secretary general Douglas Mwonzora although the latter is likely to settle for the vice presidency.