By Blessings Mashaya
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is in a dilemma over MDC’s three posts of vice president as women are pushing for one of the posts to be reserved for them ahead of next month’s congress.
While Chamisa’s current deputies are all men — Welshman Ncube, Morgen Komichi and Elias Mudzuri, women are now demanding one of the posts.
The VP posts would be contested by a number of senior officials at the opposition’s congress.
Among the notable party bigwigs who were nominated for VP’s posts include Morgen Komichi, Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti, Elias Mudzuri and three women; Lynette Karenyi-Kore, Lillian Timveos and Paurina Mpariwa.
Karenyi-Kore who is the MDC women assembly leader said the executive must make it clear that one VP’s post must be reserved for them.
“These nominations go a mile to promote the objective of our MDC smart policy on gender which aims at having a reasonable percentage of women in the executive and many structures of the MDC.
“However, these nominations will not be enough if the national executive and council does not clearly state and make it a binding resolution that come congress the MDC must reserve one of the VP positions as a slate for a female VP. This will allow women to contest each other on the VP post so that we promote gender equality in the presidium,” she said.
Karenyi-Kore said the party leadership must make an urgent decision on the matter. “The national executive and council have a moral responsibility to make this initiative a priority and it must urgently sit to debate this without further delay as this will bring more credibility to the hard work of … Chamisa who as an advocate is advocating for a gender balanced MDC leadership.
“I also wish to reiterate the need for a nontoxic campaign for women positions that will in the end bring peace, unity, success and harmony to the MDC.
“Hapana musha unomira pasina madzimai, hapana baba vangatungamira musha pasina madzimai. Mazvita leadership nekusarudza madzimai (There is no family which can progress without a woman).
“As the current women chair my wish is to see more female leaders in senior positions in the MDC.
“Let me once again take this opportunity to thank all those who nominated women for leadership positions and to those of us who were all nominated let’s prove that we are ready to serve as we have always demonstrated in the past.”
This comes after Chamisa indicated in March this year that the party’s presidium needed gender balance.
“We want to advance you (women). We want to elevate you.
“We want to make sure we have balanced our leadership … as we go to the congress.
“Let us balance leadership in the party structures,” the MDC leader told women who gathered in Chitungwiza to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Previously, one of the party’s then two VP posts was occupied by Thokozani Khupe who later left to form her own party last year, following an ugly leadership wrangle in the MDC.
The race for the three VPs posts is likely to be a tight contest.
The MDC will hold the congress from May 24 to 26, to choose a new party leadership — including the substantive successor to its revered founding president Morgan Tsvangirai, who died early last year after losing his valiant battle against cancer of the colon. Daily News