February 08, 2018 / comments : 0
BY JAMES MUONWA
Ailing Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday anointed one of his youthful deputies, Nelson Chamisa (Kuwadzana MP), as acting party president, in a development apparently aimed at dousing the political gamesmanship and factionalism fomented by his other two deputies, Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe.
Tsvangirai, who is still hospitalised in South Africa where he is receiving cancer treatment, reportedly made the decision following unabating fights amongst his three deputies, who are angling to succeed him as party president.
At the time of the announcement, Mudzuri and Khupe were reportedly in coalition talks in South Africa without Tsvangirai's blessings, thereby raising suspicion the move to pick Chamisa, who turned 40 recently, was retributive.
Tsvangirai, in a statement by his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said: "President Morgan Tsvangirai has, with effect from today affirmed vice-president Nelson Chamisa as the acting president of the party by operation of the constitution until the president's return.
"This is in light of the president's absence and that of the two other vice-presidents, who are both in South Africa. VP Chamisa also continues in his assigned duties as the acting chairperson of the MDC Alliance."
Of the VP trio, only Khupe was elected at congress while the other two were appointed by Tsvangirai. Mudzuri has been acting president since the career opposition leader's exit from the public scene due to ill-health.
Other MDC Alliance members, including PDP secretary-general and former Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya, have welcomed and endorsed Chamisa's elevation, which has been interpreted as a 'coup' by the former trade unionist as he sees his last days in active politics. Tsvangirai, insiders say, in uncomfortable leaving, either Mudzuri or Khupe, at the helm of the opposition party arguing they lacked popular appeal and charisma to push the party forward.
Khupe, a Ndebele, has tried to use the ethnic and gender card to consolidate her position ahead of favourite Chamisa, albeit without much success.
Although, Mudzuri fancies hopes of leading MDC-T, odds are against the engineer who is the dark horse in the race for Tsvangirai's heir-apparent.
Chamisa, a vocal parliamentarian and eloquent speaker, enjoys Tsvangirai's support and that of the grassroots membership. He is tipped to takeover from Tsvangirai and contest in the upcoming 2018 presidential elections in which he will face Zanu PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power last November following a military operation that removed dictator, Robert Mugabe who had led Zimbabwe for 37 years. TOP NEWS.
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