An intriguing battle for positions is looming at the MDC-M congress next week with all positions, other than the presidency, being competed for.
Ten of the 12 provinces had by Sunday completed their nominations, with all of them proposing that secretary-general Welshman Ncube should take over the party’s presidency, currently held by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
Mutambara, who was handpicked by Ncube to lead the party in 2006, has indicated he will not stand for any position at the congress which will be held in Harare over the weekend.
Harare, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Midlands North, Midlands South and Mashonaland West provinces have made their nominations for the party’s top seven posts.
Nominations were postponed in Masvingo after delegates failed to make a quorum, while Mashonaland East was expected to submit its nominations today.
Party spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa revealed that should a single candidate be unanimously nominated by all provinces, his or her candidature would be confirmed by congress.
“But if there is more than one nomination for a position, then the congress floor will decide on who assumes the position. It does not matter whether one is nominated by 11 provinces and the other by a single province because at congress all delegates vote in their individual capacities,” he said.
Mushoriwa has been nominated for the vice-presidency by six provinces: Harare, Chitungwiza, Manicaland, Midlands North, Midlands South and Mashonaland West. He is likely to be challenged by Frank Chamunorwa, who was nominated by Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland East provinces as well as Trudy Stevenson, who was nominated by Matabeleland South.
Goodrich Chimbaira is the favourite for the national chairmanship, taking over from Joubert Mudzumwe, who is believed to be a close ally of Mutambara.
Chimbaira secured nine nominations but failed to garner the support of Matabeleland South, which opted for Paul Themba Nyathi.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was nominated for the powerful secretary-general post by nine provinces, but Matabeleland South once again broke away from the norm and instead chose Moses Mzila Ndlovu for the post, meaning the matter may be decided by the congress floor.
Mzila was also nominated for the deputy secretary-general’s post by eight provinces although Matabeleland South, which nominated him for the secretary-general’s position, nominated Edwin Mushoriwa as the deputy secretary-general.
Midlands South chose Qhubani Moyo for the position.
Paul Themba Nyathi received nine nominations for the treasurer-general’s position and Matabeleland South once again diverted from the norm by choosing David Coltart, one of the few party officials who was not involved in the party’s factional fighting ahead of the congress.
There will also be an interesting battle for the deputy secretary-general’s post pitting Theresa Marimazhira, Miriam Mushayi and Joyce Dube against each other.
Marimazhira was nominated by Harare, Chitungwiza, Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Midlands North while Mushayi was nominated by Midlands South, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North.
Dube was nominated by Matabeleland South.
Mushoriwa said candidates nominated for two posts would choose which position they wanted to stand for.