By Talent Chimutambwi
HARARE – There was chaos at the MDC Renewal congress yesterday as Manicaland Province protested the party’s failure to include their representative from the national executive that was announced to mark the end of the convention.
MDC Renewal, which has since adopted the name People’s Democratic Party, confirmed the party’s interim secretary general, Mr Tendai Biti as its president.
Mr Biti’s celebration of his elevation was almost derailed as the opposition party’s Manicaland province drowned the ululation with their protest, which lasted almost one hour.
Most delegates occupying the bay reserved for Manicaland province could be heard shouting that such kind of arrogance by party leadership was the very reason why they left MDC-T, led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, hoping that there would be an improvement at the MDC Renewal.
Manicaland province, which was the leading province in terms of turnout, was expecting Mr Julius Magaramombe to be elected treasurer, but to their surprise, he was elected deputy treasurer in the national leadership of the party, triggering an outcry from the people from his province.
The commotion eventually forced the party leadership at the high table to waive the celebratory mood and intervened to save themselves from the glaring embarrassment caused by the protest.
The protest occurred after Election Resource Centre represented by Mr Tawanda Chimhini, which conducted the polls, announced that Mr Biti had been duly elected as president.
Party interim deputy national chairperson, Ms Lucia Matibenga, who was elected party national chairperson, promised to resolve the matter soon after the congress but never revealed on how the leadership was going to address it.
Interim national chairperson, Dr Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, was elected vice president.
In his acceptance speech Mr Biti promised to work with other parties in the sphere of politics, saying party leadership had resolved to meet next week to resolve some problems including that on the Manicaland province.
Other issues to be resolved was the completion of the party constitution as well as planning a road map. Ms Evelyn Masaiti was elected Women Assembly chairperson, while the Youth Assembly would be led by Mr Moses Manyengavana. The Herald