“This is my faith in humanity: that we can rise to great challenges; Moral choice not intelligence or creativity is our greatest Asset. Things may get much worse before they get better. But we can choose to lift each other up, to build the economy where people matter, not just profit. We can dream big dreams and solve big problems,”- Tim O’Reilly.

The much talked about congress of the Movement of Democratic Change-Alliance is now finally on it the Midlands capital of Gweru, ‘the city of progress,’ with the party’s stalwarts hoping and believing it is going to emerge stronger, improved and better, after alleged attempts to rock the boat.

Likewise, and to the contrary, the party’s detractors are following the events with keen interest, hoping to see the country’s biggest opposition party coming out either divided, weakened after having had elected wrong people in positions of power.

As explained by O’Reilly above, political watchers are warning the Nelson Chamisa led opposition party to vote with closed mouths but open mind, to go for substance as opposed to bootlicking and praise singing.

Candidates recently presented their manifestos their plans for the party, during caucus meetings. While some emphasised loyalty, others sold the importance of substance.

The top contenders for the Vice President position, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube banked on substance and how they could help Chamisa create a formidable force to reckon with. On the other hand, Morgan Komichi and Elias Mudzuri spoke more on how loyal they have been to Chamisa to this end.

According to political analysts the world is watching MDC Gweru Congress to measure how serious the outcomes will be and that would shape how the world will interact with the party going forward.

Pedzisai Ruhanya says in this interregnum opposition forces require solid political, moral and competent leadership to take on the decomposing political under Zanu PF. “The MDC Congress outcomes determined how both domestic and international forces view and interact with MDC as a force,” he says.

He says the Congress should come out with a clear, policy and political stratagems that will determine the party’s capacity to address the problems of Zimbabwe, adds; “A solid team, robust policies and program of action determines future. No team for funnies. Provide solid, credible leaders.”

Ruhanya, adds that if the MDC Congress fails to rise to the occasion on the national questions of the day, Zanu PF will be the biggest beneficiary.

“Proceed knowing that you must produce a good team not just sloganeering and bootlickers around leadership,” warns the respected political commentator.

Apparently, another political watcher, Elder Mabhunu agrees with Ruhanya, adds that what has killed the ruling ZANU-PF party, is the politics of patronage, sloganeering, and bootlicking, and that MDC-Alliance should not follow suit.

“Chamisa has inherited a good party, and up to now it for him to make or break. The Congress would leave the party stronger and better than before, provided they pick the right people for the right positions,” he says.

The MDC elective congress has started, with hotels reported to be fully booked by yesterday, as participants descend for the 5th congress, and the first ever since the passing on of the founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

It has since become a dog eat dog affair, as candidates jostle for a number of positions up for grabs. Some of the positions on the table include the posts for vice presidents, national chairperson, and the secretary general, with a number of heavyweights having been nominated for the posts. The party president Chamisa goes into the congress unopposed after being nominated by all provinces.