BITI THROWS HIS WEIGHT BEHIND SUCCESSOR CHAMISA
Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti and his party have plunged headlong into the MDC-T succession politics insisting Wednesday they were behind MDC-T co-Vice President Nelson Chamisa’s bid to lead the country’s most popular opposition.
Chamisa is embroiled in a fierce tussle for MDC-T control with co-VPs Thokozani Khuphe and Elias Mudzuri.This intense shuffling to land the MDC-T’s top job has been ignited by wide speculation party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s deteriorating health could force him to step down as it becomes apparent he may fail to recover in time to contest elections slated for mid-year.
But as the battle intensifies, the PDP, which has signed up to a seven party MDC coalition pact, on Wednesday broke its silence on the MDC-T leadership row.
“The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was part of the decision to appoint Morgan Tsvangirai as a leader of the MDC Alliance a decision which we have no regrets making and we support him in these trying times.
“We categorically state that we support his decision to appoint Adv Nelson Chamisa to represent him as the Acting Leader of the Alliance even if it means acting up to the time of the nomination court and beyond unless advised otherwise by Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai,” PDP secretary general, Settlement Chikwinya, said in a statement.
PDP is the first coalition partner to come clean on its preferred leader for MDC-T, as this also impacts on who leads the MDC Alliance.
Biti and a handful allies broke away from MDC-T in 2014 citing Tsvangirai’s reluctance to heed internal calls for leadership renewal.
But since signing up to the loose merger last year, political parties to the anti-Zanu PF front have vowed support for Tsvangirai’s continued leadership even in his current state of health.
Chamisa was on Wednesday appointed party acting President by Tsvangirai, who also retained him as party’s point person to the MDC Alliance.
The appointment was widely construed to suggest the embattled MDC-T leader has finally ordained his youngest deputy as successor.
Tsvangirai has been reluctant to name a successor fearing a backlash from party loyalists opposed to a Chamisa leadership.
But should parties to the MDC Alliance have a say on who leads the opposition front, Chamisa has a head start as he has been working closely with the coalition partners as a principal to the opposition merger.