THE MDC Alliance principals met in Harare yesterday and endorsed MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa as their presidential candidate in the forthcoming general elections.
Chamisa replaced his former boss, Morgan Tsvangirai, who died two weeks ago after a long battle with colon cancer and was buried last Tuesday at his rural home in Humanikwa village, Buhera.
The former ICT minister was also on Thursday endorsed by the MDC-T as the substantive leader by the party’s national council.
The meeting followed weeks of bickering succession squabbles. Announcing the MDC Alliance decision after a meeting of the alliance principals, the grouping’s spokesperson Welshman Ncube (MDC leader) the decision to appoint Chamisa as the presidential candidate was unanimous.
“We believe he has all the credentials, young as he is, he has all the experience. Don’t be fooled by his age, he is a seasoned politician and has been in politics all his adult life,” Ncube said.
In his acceptance speech, Chamisa said he would give Zanu PF a good run in the next elections which the opposition was sure to win.
“I am ready, we are ready and I assure you this will be an election of a lifetime, an election to end queues at banks, unemployment, and all your problems,” he said.
Chamisa said the first 100 days of the alliance rule will be marked with reopening of factories and not only opening the country for business, but scrutiny, accountability and transparency.
Referring to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business mantra”, Chamisa said the call should not be a mere slogan that is not supported by accountability, transparency and public scrutiny.
“This election is about generations, ideas, and the future versus the past. Mr Mnangagwa is a good ambassador of the past and we want to usher him to the future and this is why we are in this election,” Chamisa said.
“I hope that as we go into the election, you can see the kind of the digital faces you have, against the analogue faces who are already in government, it is going to be an exciting contest, isn’t it?
“It’s a clear contest between the past and the future, the iPad generation versus the mbira generation, and that makes it an exciting election and an election is about choice and we hope that you are going to be able to choose the leadership that you truly deserve.”
Chamisa also said the alliance would ensure reforms were implemented before the elections.
“The key issue is the printing of the ballot papers, we are aware through our intelligence sources that Zanu PF has been paying a company called Pedstock based in Israel, that is linked to Nikuv and we are investigating why they have been paying them using resources from the State,” he said.
He said the alliance had an anti-rigging team, but was quick to state that apathy by voters was the biggest rigging instrument that the grouping was addressing.
People Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti said they were quite sure Chamisa was the right candidate for the alliance, which he described as a social democratic contract.
Agrippa Mutambara, the leader of the Zimbabwe People First said although Mugabe was no longer in this election, his system remained intact and they would be all out to battle against its repression.