Nelson Chamisa was on Thursday appointed substantive leader of the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai and will be its presidential candidate in the coming elections.
The decision was reached after a six-hour meeting of the party’s national executive and national council which also gave the party seven days to engage vice-president Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Abednigo Bhebhe.
Khupe has been arguing that she is the rightful heir to Tsvangirai while Moyo has indicated that he is quitting politics.
Bhebhe recently said the way the party was breaching its own constitution was the way it will govern.
“One thing that brings us together as members from different backgrounds is the constitution. When we disobey the constitution, it is not only a recipe for disaster, but it’s a reflection of how we are going to handle matters when we get into government,” he said.
“The path you walk to power will reflect how you will behave when you are in power and such kind of behaviour breeds danger to democracy.”
The party also suspended national spokesman Obert Gutu and said his deputy Thabitha Khumalo will be acting spokesperson.
It gave structures the mandate to select candidates for the coming elections and set 15 April as the deadline.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has not set the date for elections yet but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said they should be held between 21 July and 21 August.
According to Veritas Zimbabwe, the earliest Mnangagwa can proclaim the elections, if he abides by the constitution, is 30 April.
Mnangagwa is trying to ensure he holds free, fair and credible elections to win international recognition.
Chamisa’s supporters are already seeing Mnangagwa as an easy walk over.
Full statement below
Nelson Chamisa appointed Party leader and Presidential candidate
After six hour meetings of the national executive and the national council, the party’s supreme decision-making organ between Congresses, the following resolutions were passed unanimously:
1.That in line with Article 18 as read together with Article 9.21.1 of the party Constitution, the party through the National Council, has resolved that Hon. Advocate Nelson Chamisa is confirmed as the party’s substantive leader and the party’s presidential candidate for 2018.
2.That the party has given 7days for engagement processes to take place with senior leaders VP Khupe, national chairperson Lovemore Moyo and organizing secretary Hon. Abednigo Bhebhe after which the party has mandated the leadership to take the necessary action by operation of law.
3.That the party fully endorses the MDC Alliance, taking cognizance of the input from the party’s provincial leaderships. In the same vein, council resolved that all party candidates in the 2018 election will participate under the MDC Alliance banner and that the party shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the name MDC-T is not abused.
4.That the party be fully geared, prepared and ready for resoundingly winning the 2018 elections. In that regard, the party has mandated all structures to complete a popularity and merit based internal candidate selection process by 15 April 2018.
5.That Harvest House be renamed Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House in honour of our iconic leader for his service in entrenching democracy in the country.
6.That party spokesperson Obert Gutu is suspended pending internal disciplinary processes and in the meantime deputy spokesperson Hon. Thabitha Khumalo becomes the acting party spokesperson.
7.That all leaders stop communicating party positions, without permission and as per the Constitution for purposes of message discipline and consistency.
8.That the National Council notes with serious concern the violence that took place against senior officials in Buhera and applauded the immediate action taken by president Adv. Hon. Nelson Chamisa to order an investigation into what happened with the aim of ensuring that stern action is taken against the culprits. The party has emphasized its zero tolerance for violence and appreciated the swift action by the President to deal with the Buhera incident and ensure that no stone is left unturned in the investigation of what exactly happened.
Presidential Spokesperson and Director of Communications