MDC president Nelson Chamisa is now almost certain to land his first ever popular mandate as leader of the country’s main opposition after securing yet another nomination to surge within a single province to being declared uncontested party leader.
This is after he bagged yet another nomination during a penultimate MDC in the United Kingdom province.
The MDC has 13 provinces, 10 of them being local while three are external.
Only the South African MDC province will now have a say later during the week on whether the charismatic politician shall be contested when the party holds in elective congress in a month’s time.
If he secures nomination in South Africa, what will be left would be for congress to just declare him substantive party leader and end a chapter of intense grumbling among some party faithful over his dramatic power grab which followed the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai February last year.
Said MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume on Monday, “We are left with the nomination of one province which is South Africa. Once that is done, we will be done.
“If there is only one presidential candidate, the declaration will be done at congress. Only congress can declare the office bearers.
“As of now, everyone continues in their office until they are dissolved at congress.”
Should Chamisa go on to secure nomination by South Africa as is widely expected now, all the attention will now shift to the race for his three deputies among eight hopefuls.
Those vying to deputise him include current VPs Morgen Komichi, Welshman Ncube and Elias Mudzuri. All of them are in their positions through appointment and their popularity will come under test next month.
The three will battle it out with fellow party top politicians Tendai Biti, Lillian Timveous, Lynnet Karenyi, Paurina Mpariwa and former Zanu PF MP Tracy Mutinhiri.
Current MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, who was forced into an ignominious surrender of his pursuit for MDC presidency, will be challenged by MPs Charlton Hwende and Daniel Molokela.
Ten posts are up for grabs at congress with Chamisa appearing to be the only person who looks safe going into congress as the party will not allow nominations from the floor.
This comes as a major blow to the ruling Zanu-PF which has been backing Mwonzora to take over the leadership of the party arguing that he was more ‘mature’ than Chamisa.
Zanu PF has been accused of trying to fan divisions within the main opposition MDC camp led by Nelson Chamisa by pushing his secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora to takeover party leadership.
Speaking at a Press conference in August last year, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general and Zanu PF central committee member Victor Matemadanda said it was time for Mwonzora to take over from Chamisa and also push out Tendai Biti, accusing them of fanning violence.
“Those who voted for Mwonzora for post of secretary-general ahead of Chamisa should now stand up and throw Chamisa to the dust bin. MDC is now losing its values because of Chamisa. He is just like his mentor, (former Zanu PF strongman Robert) Mugabe, a dictator,” he said.
MDC 5th Congress: UK nominations
President: Nelson Chamisa
Vice President: Tendai Biti
Vice President: Lillian Timveous
Vice President: Welshman Ncube
Chairperson : Tabitha Khumalo
Vice Chairperson: Bheki Sibanda
Secretary General : Daniel Molokela
Deputy Secretary General: Caston Matewu
Treasurer: David Coltart
Deputy Treasurer: Tapiwa Mashakada
Organising Secretary: Job Sikhala
Deputy Organising Secretary: Settlement Chikwinya
Spokesperson: Luke Tamborinyoka
Deputy Spokesperson : Jacob Mafume