THE two MDC formations led by Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti will from today operate under a new name – Democratic Union (UD) until they hold their inaugural joint elective congress next year.
The formations have been holding reunification meetings since October, as the parties restructure ahead of the 2018 polls following the opposition’s dismal performance in last year’s general elections.
The new name is contained in the reunification agreement that will be signed today at Old Georgians Sports Club at a joint sitting of the formations’ national executive committees.
“Subject to the new constitution, which will be adopted by the reunification congress, the United Movement for Democratic Change (UMDC) shall be known as the Democratic Union (UD),” clause 6.1 of the agreement says.
The new entity will adopt an identity different from its founding constituent parts and will be able to sue and be sued in its name.
“The UD shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its own name and of acquiring and disposing of property in its own right,” the document reads.
The new party will in the interim be led jointly by the leadership of the founding parties, Ncube and a nominee of the Renewal Team.
Other members of the presidium of UD according to clause 9.2 of the agreement will be deputy presidents, national chairpersons and their deputies, secretary generals and their deputies, treasurer generals and their deputies and one other person designated by each party.
All members of the two joining parties will automatically become members of UD soon after the signing of the agreement.
The UD will open its membership to individuals and organisations that subscribe to practice the “values, principles and objectives of the founding agreement”.
The activities of the UD till its congress will be led by a 30-member national steering committee, comprising 15 members from each of the signing parties.
The number is inclusive of the president, the chairperson, secretary general and treasurer general from each of the parties.
The parties in clause 27.9 remain committed “to finalising negotiations with other political parties involved in the Coalition of Democrats discussions”.
The parties have put a dissolution clause that allows them to approach a commercial arbitrator if they have fundamental differences on sharing property.