Inside Politics

Battle lines drawn at MDC Alliance congress


One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective; election and power are, according to American columnist Calvin Thomas.

The MDC Alliance’s elective congress set for Gweru this week has brought out the best and worst of politicians with some candidates claiming that they had been anointed by the late founder of the country’s opposition party, Morgan Tsvangirai.

The run up to the May 24 to 26 congress has been full of intrigue, spin and as predicted back-biting as candidates take their campaign messages to constituencies in different provinces of the country.

The secretary general’s position pits incumbent Douglas Mwonzora, Fortune Daniel Molokele and Charlton Hwende while David Coltart will battle it out with Tapiwa Mashakada for the treasurer general’s post.

The Vice President posts have created interest within the public though pundits have argued that all the candidates have weak

Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, Morgen Komichi and Elias Mudzuri are battling to fill the two slots for Vice President. Lynette Karenyi-Kore, Tracy Mutinhiri and Lilian Timveous fight for the remaining VP slot reserved for women.

Biti and Ncube are trying to convince people that they were all anointed by the late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to deputise the charismatic youthful leader.

In an interview with Business Times Biti said despite the anointing he is able to assist
Chamisa to garner more votes in the rural areas as well as pushing for a win in the next election.

“I was anointed by Tsvangirai to be deputy president. We have a plan to convince the rural population so that even if they are intimidated, they can still vote for the party. I will also make sure that we keep the party united and win the next general election,” he said.

Ncube said it was important that people know the direction Tsvangirai wanted the party to take.

“Before we move on as a party we need to understand what the founding father Tsvangirai wanted. Before he passed on we had a meeting and he asked me to deputise Chamisa as we try to take the party forward and win elections,”  Ncube told Business Times.

Mudzuri said he was told by his doctor not to comment on issues of politics.

Former US Vice President Hubert Humphrey once said that anyone who thinks that the Vice-President can take a position independent of the President of his administration simply has no knowledge of politics or government. You are his choice in a political marriage, and he expects your absolute loyalty, he said.

Although, he could not be reached for comment, Komichi has been telling supporters that he is one of the party’s loyal cadres.

“Because I was a chief election agent, I told people at the Command Centre that the elections were rigged and that alone shows I am very loyal to the party and president,” he told a gathering in Bulawayo recently.

Out- going secretary for International Affairs, Mutinhiri said she was a proper candidate for the post because of her experience in the party.

“I have worked with President Morgan Tsvangirai before in the government of national Unity and under the current President Chamisa I have worked well with him as the secretary for Foreign Affairs. I am the right person for the job because of the policies I have introduced,” she said.

Karenyi –Kore said she would assist Chamisa to facilitate projects for women as well as fighting for the disabled people to be assisted.

She said her experience in the party makes her understand some of the issues in the party.

Posting on her social media platforms Karenyi-Kore said people should vote for her because of her respect for others, honesty, humility, justice, decision making, encourage initiatives, unifier and she leads by example.

Timveous who is the party’s chief whip in the Senate said she will push for women empowerment and strengthen party structures ahead of the next general election.

“I  want  to work  for the empowerment of women in the  party  and strengthening  the party’s structures and  we shall  be following what our leader  Chamisa political   ideology has started of supporting women candidates.     We know   that  women’s constitute
the biggest number of our population and  we want  them to be included in the  empowerment programmes  and I have been doing a lot  of these  projects   with the women in  Midlands province  and other provinces and I intend to  continue to do   as  a businesswoman,” she said.

Mwonzora called for the restoration of powers to control the elections system in the party to curb the fielding of double candidates that cost opposition party in several constituencies in the previous election.

He said there was a good and mutual respect between him and Chamisa.

Molokele said he was the right candidate and would restore sanity in the party.

“The position requires someone who is focused and level-headed, someone who is technically sound. I need to strengthen it as an institution and that means I need to make sure that it is modernised in terms of technology. The organisation needs to embrace technology, for example, it needs to have systems in place in all its offices,” he said.

Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said while selling their ideas to the people before congress was a good idea, they could not offer something new.

“It is a good idea but their ideas might not new because the party has said it before but it is a good innovation for leaders to sell their ideas,” Masunungure said.

He castigated those trying to use the ‘Tsvangirai anointing’ saying it was a weak point to take to people. “They should just sell themselves because the anointing thesis does
not work in this modern world. That one to me is a weak point,” Masunungure said.


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