The MDC-T’s extra-ordinary congress ended in the wee hours of Monday after a dramatic day of turmoil with Mwonzora being declared new party leader, taking over from Thokozani Khupe who pulled out of the contest accusing her ambitious rival of voter fraud.
Voting in the court-ordered congress was marred by violence and allegations of irregularities raised by Khupe, who eventually abandoned proceedings and announced a suspension of Mwonzora.
Khupe, with Morgen Komichi, another disgruntled contestant in tow, stormed out of voting and declared the congress “null and void”. She ordered polling to stop – in vain.
The two accused Mwonzora and his camp of using violence and a fake voters’ roll that disenfranchised their supporters.
Despite their protestations, voting continued into the night and culminated in Mwonzora winning with 883 votes against Khupe’s 118.
Elias Mudzuri polled 14 while Komichi got a paltry 9. Mudzuri also abandoned the congress shortly after Khupe and Komichi’s exit.
Mwonzora appeared conciliatory in his acceptance speech while pushing back against charges of voter fraud and embezzlement of party funds raised by Khupe.