by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE – ZIMBABWE’S main opposition, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is wary of a fourth split ahead of an elective congress set for May.
The election for the presidency is set to pit interim leader, Nelson Chamisa, against party Secretary General, Douglas Mwonzora.
Mwonzora has confirmed he was consulting MDC stakeholders but impeccable sources insist he would indeed challenge Chamisa.
The two men contested the secretary general’s post in the last elective congress in 2014 and Mwonzora won convincingly.
Chamisa recently told supporters at a party rally in the central Gweru that he would stand for the presidency.
“I have consulted the provinces and I’m through. I have an idea of where they want me to be deployed and I’m going to be making an announcement when the time comes, but let me say that as a member of the MDC I have my rights to contest whatever position my party thinks I’m suited for,” said Mwonzora.
However, MDC deputy president, Elias Mudzuri, warned the May 24-26 congress could split the party, especially if aspiring candidates were blocked from competing.
Party members are divided over the posts to be contested.
“The coming congress threatens to tear the party apart and jeopardise our chances of winning the 2023 general elections, ruining the hopes of millions,” Mudzuri said.
Mudzuri and Chamisa were co-deputies to founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai, who died in South Africa in February last year.
He appointed them in 2016 despite having an elected deputy, Thokozani Khupe.
Tsvangirai appointed Chamisa as acting president before seeking treatment in South Africa.
Party supporters used violence to keep Chamisa in power.
This forced Khuphe and retained the MDC-Tsvangirai name as the main party contested elections as MDC Alliance.
MDC’s first split was in 2005 when then- secretary general, Welshman Ncube, led a breakaway and formation of the United MDC.
Tendai Biti, another ex-secretary general, also led a split within MDC to form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
– CAJ News