16 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Campaign Hots Up for Top Posts At MDC-T Congress

It's still five months away but the campaign for top posts at the MDC-T congress scheduled for October has already started, with potential candidates making their cases to party members to be part of the next leadership team.

At the helm is party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is set to be re-elected unopposed, although the party has emphasized that anybody is free to contest against him.

Thokozane Khupe is set to retain her number two spot, although there have been suggestions that the party wants to introduce a position for a second Vice-President, a post earmarked for Morgan Komichi, the party's current deputy national chairman.

Highly placed sources within the MDC-T told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the powerful post of secretary-general, once held by Tendai Biti before his split to form the renewal team, is likely to go to Nelson Chamisa. However current party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora is reportedly eyeing the position.

There are negotiations within the party for Mwonzora to move to the national organizing portfolio, to be replaced as the party's spin doctor by the equally combative Obert Gutu.

Theresa Makone, the women's assembly chairperson and current acting treasurer-general, said she doesn't mind serving in any position bestowed on her by party members.

'If they want me to be the treasurer, I do what the people want, and if they want me to continue as women's chair, I will do the same,' said Makone. The acting secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada has also set his eyes on the treasurer's portfolio.

Outspoken Tsvangirai loyalist Charlton Hwende is set to make it to the standing committee for the first time, with reports linking him with the deputy treasurer's position, a post once held by Elton Mangoma before his now infamous letter asking Tsvangirai to step down.

Southern region stalwarts, MPs Abednico Bhebhe and Thamsanqa Manhlangu, are reportedly set to become deputy national chairman and deputy national organizing secretary, while former speaker and national chairman Lovemore Moyo will retain his position.

Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us the line-up is being crafted following extensive consultations from grassroots levels. He said while the composition of the team might change before the congress, he stressed however there isn't going to be many changes.

'This line-up is being built on consensus looking also at provincial representation. They want as many provinces to be represented in the final line up so it's not automatic that names being thrown around now will eventually make it through to congress,' Saungweme said.

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