Ncube who will be the party’s president for a five year term, told hundreds of his party supporters at the end of a three day congress that saw him assuming the reins of power from Arthur Mutambara that over-stayers in power like Mugabe were the reason why Zimbabwe was failing to progress.
“To those who refuse to hand over power to a new generation of leaders, those who think that they are born to lead, we say we are going to organise against you and we tell you that the people of Zimbabwe will reject you in the next election,” said Ncube to the applause of his supporters.
“While we acknowledge your contribution to the liberation of the country we want to tell you that you have negated those values you fought for by remaining in power.”
He described Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s larger MDC party “pseudo democrats” and “hypocrites”. Ncube said, “We refuse to be intimidated, we refuse to be cowed by your lies and your head mentality even if you are supported by your friends in the media.”
Turning onto the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which he helped negotiate, Ncube said his party will work to ensure that it is fully implemented as agreed.
He also said his party will insist that the constitution making process be completed and be a true reflection of the democratic aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.
“It must restore political freedoms, freedom of speech, media freedom and the right to campaign freely before any election can be held,” said Ncube.
The former University of Zimbabwe professor also called for the removal of sanctions which he said are stifling the growth of the Zimbabwean economy.
“We affixed our signature to the GPA and agreed to unconditional removal of sanctions because they are affecting the democratic growth in Zimbabwe because they are giving Zanu (PF) an excuse to continue trampling of the freedoms of the people of Zimbabwe, Zanu (PF) is using them as a shelter,” said Ncube.
Ncube also took time to pay tribute to Mutambara saying he had shown the way by passing on the button to him, something that many political leaders in Zimbabwe were failing to do.
Mutambara called for unity in the party, tasking the newly elected party members to address the concerns raised by a group of disgruntled members led by Joubert Mudzumwe.
“This is a great party and we should never let it collapse,” he said. “I received a petition from our national chairman, who is not here and it is important that their issues be addressed.”
Mudzumwe had threatened a split, saying he would only recognise Mutambara as leader, with deputy speaker of parliament, Nomalanga Khumalo being his deputy.
Frank Chamunorwa, who had been nominated for the chairmanship made way for Edwin Mushoriwa, who replaces the late Gibson Sibanda. Chamunorwa was eventually made deputy chairman.
Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga succeeded Ncube as the secretary general, with Paul Themba Nyathi coming in as the new treasurer general.
National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu and Theresa Marimazhara will deputise Mushonga and Nyathi respectively.
About 4 250 delegates attended the congress from across the country, with Masvingo also in attendance. Masvingo had been the most volatile, with some delegates from the province threatening a boycott.
In the petition, the disgruntled members called for the suspension of the congress until their demands, which included the auditing of the party’s books and the suspension of the Bulawayo youth assembly and the Chitungwiza executive of the women’s assembly were addressed.
They claimed that Ncube manipulated the nomination process and kept the date of the congress secret.