MDC-T acting president Thokozani Khupe will this Wednesday hold her first meeting with the party’s national council as they prepare to hold a watershed extraordinary congress (EOC) at the end of the month.

Members of the national council last month petitioned Khupe and her standing committee to present themselves before them and discuss the Supreme Court ruling and the proposed EOC amid reports that there were plans to use the organ to kick out the current leadership.

Party deputy spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni told NewsDay that the MDC-T national council would convene to discuss the July 31 EOC among other issues affecting the party.

“The issues will be discussed this Wednesday when the national council convenes. We will hold a Press conference after which we will be able to deliver the resolutions and way forward. As you can see president Khupe is steadying the ship and giving leadership to the party,” he said.

Already there are moves to delay the July 31 EOC on health grounds with MDC-T officials claiming that the Health ministry had said it would not allow the 3 500 MDC-T congress delegates to gather for elections in Harare as this could affect the response to COVID-19.

Insiders said the delays were being pushed by Khupe’s camp seen as having favour from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration as they fear the acting president would lose the elections and would be relegated to Douglas Mwonzora’s deputy.

“The leadership was in Mashonaland West and violating all COVID-19 regulations, nothing has happened, look at the pictures that Mwonzora and (Morgen) Komichi took, no social distancing, no masks and they want to say EOC should be postponed,” said an insider.

Phugeni said everyone wanted the EOC to happen so that the party moved past the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai and there was no attempt to block it.

“Nobody wants to block the EOC, we all want it to happen, but of course not at the expense of people’s health. I have seen pictures of our meeting in Mashonaland West, yes, I was not there and I should admit that it does not look good. We have to respect health regulations, it’s important,” he said.