Former MDC-T vice president Elias Mudzuri will challenge interim leader Thokozani Khupe for the presidency, he announced on Friday.
The party has been rocked by leadership disputes which spilled to the Supreme Court.
Secretary general Douglas Mwonzora and chairman Morgen Komichi are also both rumoured to be eyeing the presidency.
Mudzuri called for a news conference in Harare on Friday to announce that he is “launching my election campaign to succeed Morgan Tsvangirai in the MDC-T party as president.”
He promised to rebuild the “falling” party by luring back those who have turned their backs on it.
“If elected as MDC-T president, I will bring back all those that have walked away or chased away from the MDC-T and form a united party to challenge Zanu-PF in 2023. We need to focus more on the 2023 general elections than infighting in MDC-T,” Mudzuri said.
“I will spend time reflecting on developments in my party. I am offering my candidature and will greatly serve and bring change in the party and country.”
The MDC-T will be holding its court-ordered extraordinary congress in December 2020.
“Congress should not be difficult, our congress should follow procedure and we become a true democracy,” he said while calling for internal dialogue to resolve disputes.
He also urged the party members to go to congress with an open mind.
“The MDC-T must respect its values and constitution. We don’t want the imposition of candidates and the leadership must listen to concerns from all structures,” he said.
Tsvangirai died in February 2018, triggering a leadership dispute.
Khupe, Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa were all Tsvangirai’s deputies although Khupe was the only one elected at the last MDC-T congress in 2014.
The High Court later made a finding that Khupe was the only legitimate deputy, while nullifying the appointments of Chamisa and Mudzuri by Tsvangirai in 2016.
The court ruling effectively installed Khupe as interim leader, but it was challenged at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s finding, and ordered Khupe to assume charge of the party with the leadership elected in 2014. She also was ordered to call an extra-ordinary congress to elect new leadership.
Chamisa, who now leads the country’s biggest opposition the MDC Alliance, says he will not attend the MDC-T extraordinary congress.