Originally by New Zuimbabwe

A FACTION of the opposition MDC-T party on Saturday unanimously elected Thokozani Khupe as president during its extraordinary congress at Stanley Square in Bulawayo.

Former party spokesperson Obert Gutu will deputise Khupe, while Abednico Bhebhe was elected national chairman.

Both Bhebhe and Gutu were elected unopposed.

Chief Ndlovu was elected the party’s treasurer general while Nico Nyikadzino is the new secretary general.

Others who were elected during the congress include human rights activist Linda Masarira (secretary for Information and Publicity), Dorothy Bhebhe (Women’s Assembly chairperson), Isabel Mwonzora (secretary for the youth wing), Yvonne Musarurwa (organising secretary), Linnet Mudehwe (Secretary for the women’s wing) and Fungai Masaiti (youth wing chairperson).

During the congress, several amendments to the party’s constitution were also made.

Addressing journalists soon after a closed delegates’ session, Gutu said following the amendments, national leaders will now only be allowed to run for two terms of five years.

“The congress has approved several amendments to our constitution. National leaders will now only be required to run for two terms.

“We have also whittled (down) the powers of the national council. The national council can no longer appoint leaders outside congress.”

The new vice president said the party has also scrapped the position of vice national chairperson and the posts of two vice presidents.

“We have now reverted to the old system where we will only have one vice president. We have also expanded the national council to include the chairperson of the women and young wings,” he said

About 2,000 people attended the congress, including representatives from Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) and People Democratic Party president Lucia Matibenga.

Diplomats from America and Britain also attended the event.

The MDC-T has been ridden by internecine fights following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai who succumbed to colon cancer in February this year.

After the former prime minister’s passing on, the party’s national council appointed Nelson Chamisa as new leader.

This was disputed by Khupe and her allies who were subsequently expelled from the party by Chamisa’s faction.