BY BRENNA MATENDERE
MDC Midlands province has nominated party leader Nelson Chamisa for the post of president ahead of next month’s elective congress, but denied secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora any post in the standing committee.
In provincial nominations held in Gweru yesterday, city mayor Josiah Makombe also romped to victory in the contest for chairperson of the Midlands province, with Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou grabbing the provincial spokesperson’s post.
Youthful Chiwundura MP Livingstone Chimina beat former Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi for the post of provincial treasurer.
On other nominations for standing committee members, Zvishavane Senator Lilian Timveous was picked for the post of vice-president, together with Morgen Komichi and Tendai Biti, to complete the quartet of preferred deputies for Chamisa.
The Midlands province also nominated current national chairperson Thabitha Khumalo to retain her post and picked national youth assembly chairperson Happymore Chidziva as the deputy chairperson.
For the post of secretary-general, the province nominated party bigwig Charlton Hwende. Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya was nominated deputy secretary-general, thereby completely shutting out Mwonzora, who is touted as Chamisa’s possible challenger for the presidency.
Tapiwa Mashakada was nominated for the post of treasurer-general of the MDC, while Amos Chibaya was nominated to retain his organising secretary post.
Other elected MDC Midlands provincial executive members were Sedwell Bhepe (vice-chairperson), Redcliff MP Lloyd Mukapiko (organising secretary), Senima Musindo (deputy organising secretary, Lazarus Chacha (provincial secretary), deputised by Erasmus Ndonga, and Searnore Muringani deputy spokesperson.
Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the provincial congress was open and democratic.
“We held a very successful congress in the Midlands. It was the first time that we were having this congress after having combined Midlands North and Midlands South to be one province. The people were happy to continue working with president Chamisa in his current role and so they unanimously nominated him. The mayor (Makombe) also proved to be very popular and he was also chosen to lead the province,” he said.
Mafume rubbished claims by some officials that the election was flawed and marred with irregularities like ballot stuffing since the process went into the night.
“Accusations against the mayor that he rigged the election are with no basis. For instance, some of the people who were not in his camp like the secretary for information (Zhou) won. So how he could he rig for himself and not for the entire people in his camp?” Mafume asked.
The MDC spokesperson also confirmed that Mwonzora did not get a nomination in the province, saying the people felt the outgoing secretary-general could not fit into the standing committee.
Davison Shoko, who contested against Makombe, said he would issue a statement at a later date.
“I cannot comment right now. I am still seized with the issue of helping members that are stranded here, with no transport to go to their rural areas. I will issue my comment in the coming days because today it’s too hectic for me,” he said.