MDC Alliance throw their weight behind VP Chamisa

MDC Alliance principals are reportedly rooting for youthful Nelson Chamisa to take over as their presidential candidate in the event that ailing Morgan Tsvangirai does not recover in time for the gruelling campaign ahead of the watershed general elections this year.

‘PARLIAMENT SHOULD APPROVE CABINET NOMINEES’ CHAMISA

Highly-placed sources said alliance principals were in agreement that Chamisa had the appeal among the youths and the general populace and stood a better chance against Zanu PF candidate President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“Chamisa is the natural candidate to take over as alliance leader because he stands a very good chance to win the polls ahead of Mnangagwa, other than all the other principals in the alliance and we know that,” one of the principals, who refused to be named, said.

MDC Alliance is a coalition which includes the MDC-T, MDC, Transform Zimbabwe, Multiracial Christian Democrats, ZimPF, People’s Democratic Party and Zanu Ndonga. MDC Alliance spokesperson, Welshman Ncube, however, poured cold water on the succession issue, saying Tsvangirai remained their presidential candidate.

“We will cross that bridge when we get there, but at the moment our candidate is Tsvangirai and until such a time he comes to us and says he is unable to continue then, the alliance will sit down and decide who will take over.

Obviously, Tsvangirai will have an opinion, the MDC-T will have its opinion, so will the other five parties in the alliance,” he said.

On Chamisa, Ncube said the youthful leader who turns 40 this year has been representing Tsvangirai in the alliance
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MDC Alliance is a coalition which includes the MDC-T, MDC, Transform Zimbabwe, Multiracial Christian Democrats, ZimPF, People’s Democratic Party and Zanu Ndonga.

MDC Alliance spokesperson, Welshman Ncube, however, poured cold water on the succession issue, saying Tsvangirai remained their presidential candidate.

“We will cross that bridge when we get there, but at the moment our candidate is Tsvangirai and until such a time he comes to us and says he is unable to continue then, the alliance will sit down and decide who will take over. Obviously, Tsvangirai will have an opinion, the MDC-T will have its opinion, so will the other five parties in the alliance,” he said.

On Chamisa, Ncube said the youthful leader who turns 40 this year has been representing Tsvangirai in the alliance since he was taken ill. “Chamisa has been representing Tsvangirai in the forum of principals, but as the deputy chair, I have been chairing all alliance meetings in consultation with our candidate,” he said.

Sources said while Chamisa had an upper hand to lead the alliance, his chances of becoming MDC-T leader were reportedly slim due to factional fighting within the party structures and top leadership eager to derail him. Chamisa was not immediately available for comment as he was not picking his phone.

Tsvangirai recently issued a statement indicating that he was contemplating stepping down and handing over the reins to a younger generation.

His statement was met with resistance by some party organs, particularly the youth and women’s assemblies, who insisted the MDC-T leader should remain their presidential candidate in this year’s elections.

Matabeleland structures and other top leaders including organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe, chairman Lovemore Moyo and spokesperson Obert Gutu were reported to be firmly behind party vice-president Thokozani Khupe taking over from Tsvangirai.

Those backing Khupe, who is touted as the real deal, were opposed to an extraordinary congress to choose a successor in the event that Tsvangirai stepped down, saying their candidate should automatically takeover because she is the only vice-president elected by congress.

Gutu dismissed such speculation, saying Tsvangirai remained firmly in charge of MDC-T and was their candidate in the crunch elections.

“We have our president who is none other than Morgan Tsvangirai, anything else is spurious and without merit, he is responding well to treatment and recuperating, we are waiting for him to get well and come back to finish the struggle,” he said.

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