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Renewal Democrats Set to Elect Mangoma Party President

FILE: Elton Mangoma, centre, former Zimbabwe's Minster of Energy and Power Development outside the magistrates courts, accompanied by two unidentified police detectives in Harare, Friday, March, 11, 2011.

The Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe party led by Elton Mangoma, in an interim capacity, is set to hold its inaugural congress this weekend with the former energy minister almost set to be elected the substantive leader of the new opposition party.

Interim RDZ spokesperson, Pishai Muchauraya, told a news conference in Harare on Tuesday that Mangoma is unlikely to be challenged at the party’s inaugural congress.

However, independent political analyst Mlondolozi Ndlovu said from the list of candidates vying for leadership positions at the RDZ’s congress, it was clear that the opposition outfit has no national appeal and would most certainly be a regional party.

But Muchauraya dismissed this saying members of his party had been given enough time to express their interest in party positions but did not submit their names.

He, however, added that party members still have a chance to contest for leadership positions at congress as they have up to midnight Thursday to show their interest in party posts.

Prior to the weekend congress, the RDZ party held congresses for its youth and women’s wings electing Fortune Munyonga as youth president while Hilda Sibanda was elected the chairperson of the Women’s Assembly.

Report on Renewal Democrats Congress Filed By Thomas Chiripasi
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Meanwhile, Muchauraya told journalists that his party will contest the 2108 national elections, adding they are determined to romp to victory despite the absence of key democratic reforms in Zimbabwe.

Other political parties such as the MDC formation led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, former finance minister Simba Makoni’s Mavambo Kusile Dawn and the National Constitutional Assembly have demanded electoral reforms before polls are held.

Responding to a question from one journalist on the possibility of RDZ’s participation in a coalition of political parties that is being mooted by Mr. Tsvangirai and others in the opposition like the yet to be launched People First, Muchauraya said his party would not work with former Zanu PF members whom he said were responsible for allegedly murdering innocent civilians.

Ndlovu said opposition parties must find each other if they are to wrestle power from the ruling Zanu PF party in the next elections.

Although most of the opposition parties are preaching the coalition gospel since the disputed 2013 elections, nothing is on the ground to suggest that they would ultimately form that coalition ahead of the polls.