Mwonzora says he is allowed to challenge Chamisa but he has not made up his mind yet


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Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, considered one of the main challengers for party leader Nelson Chamisa, says he has not yet decided which post he may or may not run for at the party’s next congress but as a party member he is allowed to contest any post.

He is, however, not campaigning for party president right now.

Asked by Newsday if he is eyeing the post of party president, Mwonzora responded: “For the avoidance of doubt, I am not saying anything yet about what office I may or may not run for. That is a decision I’m yet to make and that is a decision that does not depend on me alone, but on a number of people, but I am not right now campaigning to be president of the MDC.

“I know as member of the party I can contest for any post. I’m allowed to contest over any position, but right now I have not campaigned for presidency of MDC and right now the president of the MDC is Nelson Chamisa and I am the secretary-general and quite happy with that arrangement.”

Mwonzora and party vice-president Elias Mudzuri are under pressure not to contest Chamisa at the next congress which reports say will be held in October.

Chamisa took over from founding president Morgan Tsvangirai hours after his death and it was agreed that his term will only be for a year but some party members are now saying congress should be held in October, five years after the 2014 congress.

The MDC seems to have a habit of breaking its own rules. It extended Tsvangirai’s term so that he could contest against then President Robert Mugabe for the third time when the party had initially agreed that a party leader should serve two terms only.

Mwonzora said he was surprised that people were saying he is running for president when issues to be discussed at the congress have not been announced.

“There is going to be a congress for the MDC, the date has not yet been set yet and from what the spokesperson of the party has said, the congress will be some time in October or slightly after October because the five years expire on October 31 when we held the last congress in 2014,” he said.

“The date of the congress has not been announced yet and one should know that the issues to be discussed at the congress have not yet been laid out yet, so I don’t know where people are getting the idea that I am in the running for the presidency.”

Mwonzora said he was loyal to the cause, the party and the entire leadership of the party.

“I am loyal to the entire leadership of the MDC, so yes I am loyal to Nelson Chamisa. I am loyal to him to the extent that he is my president and that he is superintending over me. I have never backstabbed him,” he said.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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