Zimbabwe: MDC-T Says No Changes, Tsvangirai Still the Party's Presidential Candidate for 2018 Election

Photo: The Herald
Morgan Tsvangirai.

While the MDC-T appears to be trapped in a succession wrangle pitying the party's three vice presidents (VPs) as they fight to succeed Morgan Tsvangirai whose health has deteriorated as a result of cancer officials insist the veteran opposition leader is the party's candidate for 2018 elections.

Tsvangirai, in a Monday statement, hinted at stepping to allow young colleagues to take the party to a new level.

Soon after the visit by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Tsvangirai's home where Nelson Chamisa was the only deputy available, Chamisa's name was thrown around as the most likely heir apparent of Tsvangirai ahead of senior co-VPs Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe.

However, Tuesday the national organising and elections directorate, through a statement signed by party spokesperson Obert Gutu, dismissed the idea of Tsvangirai retiring.

Instead, Gutu claimed Chamisa's rival contender and acting party president Mudzuri had told a national organising and elections directorate meeting that the "indefatigable" Tsvangirai will remain the party's presidential candidate in this year's harmonised elections.

According to Gutu, Mudzuri met Tsvangirai this Tuesday morning at his Highlands residence to "compared notes on various issues pertaining to the forthcoming general elections and other pertinent party matters".

"Contrary to recent press reports that suggested that President Tsvangirai will soon be stepping down from the leadership of the party, the fact of the matter is that President Tsvangirai remains the leader of the MDC and he is the MDC Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections," said Gutu in a statement this Tuesday.

Mudzuri chaired the meeting which was also attended by deputy national chairperson Morgen Komichi, secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, treasurer general Theresa Makone, deputy national organising secretary Amos Chibaya, secretary for information and publicity Gutu, secretary for elections Murisi Zwizwai, chief of staff Sesel Zvidzai.

According to Gutu, the meeting discussed various important matters including the extension of the biometric voter registration period, diaspora vote and the party's preparations for this year's elections.

"Acting President Mudzuri advised the meeting that he had met with President Morgan Tsvangirai at his Highlands residence earlier on in the morning and that the two leaders had compared notes on various issues pertaining to the forthcoming general elections and other pertinent party matters," he said.

"He emphasised the need for unity and focus amongst all the ranks of the party as we approach the general elections that the MDC and its Alliance partners are poised to win resoundingly."

With elections a few months away, Gutu said the meeting was advised rallies and other public meetings will soon be launched as the party launches its long awaited election campaign.

"The MDC candidate selection process will be completed within the next few weeks and all party cadres are being urged to remain united as we enter the homestretch in our democratic struggle to establish a new and progressive nation state in Zimbabwe," said Gutu.

The opposition faces a highly unpredictable election following the inglorious exit in November last year of the 93 year-old Robert Mugabe from presidency and takeover of his deputy Mnangagwa in a bloodless military coup.

Although the economic situation remains unchanged, Mnangagwa and his wife Auxillia are working around the clock to project a different style of governance ahead of the elections with the hope of winning votes.

Political experts have said chances are high that Mnangagwa, Mugabe's long time lieutenant until the coup, may land a victory especially contesting against a weak opposition lacking in unity of purpose, ideologically bankrupt and s resource starved.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: New Zimbabwe

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.