By Mugove Tafirenyika
The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC is reuniting with its former secretaries-general — Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti. Ncube and Biti, who ditched the main MDC, then under Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership in 2005 and 2014 respectively, are expected to land senior positions at the party’s elective congress next year.
The decision to reunite with their respective parties came out during the MDC’s marathon national council meeting held at the party’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House in Harare on Wednesday.
The indaba was meant to take stock of the party’s performance in the July 30 harmonised elections.
MDC deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi confirmed that the national council resolved that vacant posts in the party would be filled in by integrating Ncube and Biti’s parties.
“There are vacant posts in the party and the integration process will fill in those positions and it is up to the president who was mandated by the national council to make sure that the resolution is implemented to the letter and spirit,” Komichi told the Daily News after the meeting which lasted over 10 hours.
Biti currently heads the People’s Democratic Party, while Ncube leads the smaller MDC formation.
Both parties are part of the MDC Alliance, comprising seven political parties, including the main MDC led by Nelson Chamisa.
Other parties to the alliance that will also be integrated into the main MDC include Transform Zimbabwe, led by Jacob Ngarivhume, Zimbabwe People First led by Agrippa Mutambara, Zanu Ndonga and the Multi-Racial Democrats.
At its consummation in September last year, the alliance was described as Tsvangirai’s “legacy project” and was backed by Zimbabweans from across the political divide as a welcome development for opposition politics in the country.
There are currently several vacant positions in the MDC occasioned by the power struggles that ensued in the aftermath of Tsvangirai’s death in February.
Some of the key figures who left the party and whose positions must be filled include former vice president Thokozani Khupe who now leads a splinter organisation called the MDC-T.
Then MDC organising secretary Obert Gutu also abandoned Chamisa to deputise Khupe.
Other officials who ditched Chamisa include then organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe and former national chairperson Lovemore Moyo.
Insiders told the Daily News, Chamisa intends to offer senior positions to both Ncube and Biti as he bids to consolidate his position going for congress by surrounding himself with leaders who share his vision.
Indications are that Ncube and Biti could be considered for positions of national chairperson and vice president respectively with MDC deputy national spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo being considered for the other VP’s slot along with (Elias) Mudzuri.
Ncube and Biti only came back to the fold after Tsvangirai, before his death in February, persuaded them to join the “big tent”.
The alliance, with Chamisa as its presidential candidate, went head to head with Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa and was narrowly edged by the ruling party in the election, with its presidential candidate receiving 50,6 percent of the vote to Chamisa’s 44,3 percent.
Ncube who is the MDC Alliance spokesperson also confirmed that while they participated in the elections which were won by Zanu PF as a loose coalition, the seven parties to the alliance’s national executive had made resolutions affirming the need for re-integration.
“We are currently working on our delegates to Parliament and local authorities where we have majority control and after that in two to three weeks’ time we should be starting to work towards implementing the resolutions of integration and we hope, subject to the processes of the various parties, by the time the main MDC congress is due, we should be in a position to hold a single congress that will come up with a leadership of the integrated party,” Ncube said.
Ncube said the resolutions for integration were made “a long time ago, way before the elections and what was left was only implementation”.
“Whether or not the congress, will be a congress of everyone, is a matter that the organs of the MDC and other parties’ structures will look at…,” he said.
Komichi also revealed that Chamisa will maintain the current arrangement whereby the MDC has three vice presidents.
“We have no problem with that arrangement and it has nothing to do with the national Constitution or government organogram, it is about our own political dynamics in the MDC so we will keep it like that,” Komichi said.