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Dog eat dog in MDC ahead of congress

By Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE –  It is dog eat dog in the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai as party heavyweights seek to outsmart each other ahead of a congress slated for October.

MDC rally in Harare
MDC rally in Harare

While Tsvangirai’s position looks secure, there is no smooth sailing for people like the organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, party vice president Thokozani Khupe and some senior members, whose positions have been secure for a long time.

Although Chamisa denies eying the secretary general’s post which was left vacant after the expulsion of Tendai Biti, reports indicate that he will fight it out with current party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora for the powerful post.

Yesterday, the charismatic Chamisa was coy, saying he is in the struggle to serve the people and not for positions.

“I am not waiting for anything. Our struggle can never be reduced to a struggle for positions as it is bigger than positions. It is about entrenching the fundamental freedom, restoring dignity to all Zimbabweans. I am very comfortable with the service that I am giving, my passion is to serve, my passion is to make contributions,” said Chamisa.

Asked whether he would take up the challenge if nominated, he said,

“When nominations are done we obviously have to go for congress.”

His perceived rival Mwonzora, said he is waiting for the nominations.

“The nominations for positions in the standing committee are going to come from the provinces, they are not out yet and I have no intentions of contesting for the secretary general post because I have not been nominated. Right now, I am concentrating on my current job as the party spokesperson and am fighting Zanu PF.”

To add intrigue to the struggle for ascendancy in the MDC, names like Tapiwa Mashakada the acting secretary general have also been thrown into the mix to fill the powerful post that Biti left.

Theresa Makone the current chairperson for the Women’s Assembly, who has close ties to the donor community, is likely to go for the treasurer general’s post but again sources say Mashakada might challenge her.

Former Labour minister Paurina Mpariwa has also stepped in to fill the Women’s Assembly chair post but she will have to slug it out with Sibusisiwe Masara the current secretary general.

On the other hand Khupe, will have to have to dig deep if she is to return her posts, sources in the MDC said but she is favourite to sail through.

Chamisa told the Daily News that the impending congress will also deliberate on constitutional matters amid indications that the MDC is likely to make amendments that will dovetail its constitution with that of the country which has two vice presidents.

The current vice chairperson Morgen Komichi reportedly fancies his chances of taking the vice presidency post.

Komichi has reportedly already started campaigning for the post amid indications that other names will emerge to challenge him.

There are several positions up for grabs left vacant by the ejection of some top dogs who left the mainstream MDC to form the renewal camp.

These include the treasurer general’s post formerly held by Roy Bennett, youths assembly president vacated by Solomon Adore, Harare Province and Bulawayo province chairpersons, left behind by Paul Madzore and Gorden Moyo respectively.

Clifford Hlatshwayo, Happymore Chidziva and James Chidhakwa, have already started campaigning for youth league presidency.

Abednico Bhebhe, Murisi Zwizwai, Thamsanqa Mahlangu and Amos Chibaya are all eying to take over as the party organising secretary come congress if Chamisa goes for the secretary-general’s post. Daily News