By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
1 July 2014
Party stalwarts are lobbying for the post of secretary-general of the MDC-T.
While party leader Morgan Tsvangirai looks set to cruise towards another term, all eyes are now focused on the position to replace Tendai Biti as secretary-general. Hectic lobbying has already begun for the coveted post.
The major names doing the rounds include national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora and Tapiwa Mashakada, the acting secretary-general.
Biti has parted ways with the MDC-T and is running a parallel structure dubbed the renewal team, which is expected to be launched into a fully fledged political party soon.
SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that Chamisa, Mwonzora and Mashakada, all members of the standing committee, have not yet openly declared their intentions but have privately expressed interest in the post.
Apart from Elias Mudzuri, the MP for Warren Park, who has hinted that he may challenge Tsvangirai for the party presidency, others are playing their cards close to their chest. Charlton Hwende, a key political ally of Tsvangirai who is reportedly eyeing the deputy treasurer-general’s post, said the tradition in the party is for members to wait for nominations from party structures.
‘It is rare for members to nominate themselves, but they normally wait to be approached by structures representing provinces to be invited to accept nominations,’ Hwende said.
Notwithstanding the opposition attempts to stop the early campaigns, fearful the exercise will splinter the party yet again, various aspirants have clandestinely shown the desire to seek nominations.
Most of the individuals intending to contest at the October congress have done so by passing the word around among confidants and potential supporters.
A candidate wishing to contest for a post in October will require to be nominated by any of the party’s twelve provinces, including the external assemblies like the UK, USA and South Africa.
Dan Moyo, chairman of the MDC-T, USA said they don’t have a problem nominating the majority of the current leadership in the standing committee.
‘We need a sprinkling of new faces here and there, but we are quite comfortable with the current leadership,’ Moyo said.
One name that has been mentioned in a number of forums is that of leading Harare lawyer Obert Gutu, who is in the running to take over as party spokesman if Mwonzora decides to contest the secretary-general’s position.