Watch: Mwonzora retreats from Chamisa challenge, vows to remain SG

Mutare: MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora has abandoned his bid to challenge for Nelson Chamisa’s job, telling party supporters in Mutare Sunday he has struck concessions with the MDC leader to try and keep his current job as the party’s chief administrator.

The main opposition heads for congress in Gweru next month.

The first elective process since the unfortunate death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai February last year has been dominated by what had seemed like a duel between Chamisa and Mwonzora.

But Mwonzora’s bid to contest for the opposition’s biggest job has failed to gain any traction after failing to secure a single nomination from party provinces so far, except for nomination to his current post.

The MDC senator and lawyer made a change of heart Sunday saying he would now opt to retain his position as party secretary general.

“I came here to say this on my own. I, Douglas Mwonzora, have agreed with President Chamisa that at the congress the President will be Chamisa.

“We also agreed that I will try to get the position of Secretary General of the party. President Chamisa will complete what he started and I also want to finish what I started in my position,” Mwonzora said to cheering party supporters Sunday at Mutare’s Sakubva Beit hall where provincial nominations were being held.

Addressing the same crowd, Chamisa confirmed having a lengthy discussion with the Harare lawyer to drop his ambition for the coveted opposition job.

“We spoke and agreed that each would play in their position. I was given this jacket by the late President Morgan (Tsvangirai) and we have agreed that I should wear it,” said the 41-year-old politician.

By launching a bid for the MDC presidency, Mwonzora was hoping for a repeat of 2014 when he pulled a shocker by defeating Chamisa to the secretary general’s post when all pointed to the ex-ICT minister romping to an easy victory.

The latest development leaves Chamisa virtually with no challenger as party VP Elias Mudzuri, who was also linked to the top job, has been ambiguous about the possibility of running for the post.

While settling for a lesser position could be tough luck for Mwonzora, party loyalists may find this good for a party that could have been heading for another split after the race for party control was turning dicey for non-Chamisa followers after some militant loyalists to the young lawyer openly abused his challengers.

Meanwhile, MDC spokesperson for Manicaland, Trevor Saruwaka said Chamisa has a “covenant with the people of Zimbabwe” after they voted for him.

He added that the announcement by Mwonzora has defused all of the tension which characterised the run up for the MDC’s most decisive event in half a decade.

“Chamisa has a covenant with the people of Zimbabwe after they voted for him. The announcement by Mwonzora has diffused all the tension in the party and congress.

“He has done this in the interest of the party. This was a very responsible move,” said Saruwaka in an interview with media. – Source: NewZim