THE opposition MDC Renewal Team says preparations for its inaugural congress in Harare this weekend are at an advanced stage, with more than 7 000 delegates already accredited.
BY SILAS NKALA
The congress will be held at the City Sports Centre between Friday and Saturday.
The party’s Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Fortune Mlalazi yesterday said delegates from various provinces were accredited on Sunday except Matabeleland South, which faced logistical problems.
“We completed accrediting delegates here yesterday (Sunday) and we are ready for the congress,” Mlalazi said.
“The only province, which has not done so is Matabeleland South, according to reports we got.
“This was because its districts are widely spaced for information to reach all the delegates as soon as they are needed. But there are logistics in place to have some people sent to do the accreditation any time this week.”
The congress will see the party, which draws most of its members from the MDC-T and the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, change its name to People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a development officials said is meant to completely dissociate itself from the two MDCs.
“It has been agreed from grassroots to national level that the party will officially become PDP as from congress,” Mlalazi continued.
“This is meant to erase anything that makes us to be mistaken with the MDCs and we want to be distinctive in our appearance and approach.
“This is a political party with members drawn from both MDCs and to use the same names confuses the electorate.”
Interim secretary-general Tendai Biti is tipped to be confirmed as party president, with Samuel Sipepa Nkomo as his deputy.
The opposition party was formed last year after its leaders, particularly Biti and then deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, clashed with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai whom they accused of dictatorship.
Mangoma later severed ties with Biti and formed his own party, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe. -Newsday