BY FARAI MATIASHE/ BLESSED MHLANGA
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has moved to ring fence his post at the helm of the party by asking delegates to ensure that they endorse him as party leader in the next congress.
In his acceptance speech soon after being confirmed party leader, Chamisa said over the past four congresses, the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was never challenged at congress and, therefore, the party should continue with that tradition.
“I thank you for giving me 13 nominations. I think this is the trajectory that we should always have, giving the president a clean mandate in the same manner we used to give our late icon Tsvangirai a clean mandate. We never went to congress where he was contested, not even one. I hope you will give me that same hand,” he said.
However, the next congress is likely to be explosive if the MDC fails to wrest State power from Zanu PF after they passed a sweeping constitutional amendment removing two extra vice-presidents.
Congress affirmed that they would only have one VP and do away with the other two.
Such a move might see recently elected VPs Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti and Lynnette Karenyi Kore eyeing the presidency.
“Congress resolved that the next congress must elect one instead of three deputy presidents,” part of the resolution statement read.
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Congress also expanded the MDC standing committee to include deputies of offices of congress and other appointed secretaries.
“Congress resolved that the deputies of national standing committee members, secretary for international relations, secretary for elections, the secretary for policy and research, and secretary for local government should sit in the national standing committee.
“Congress resolved to change and expand the composition of the national executive committee. That instead of three members, provinces shall nominate five members each, provided that gender parity is respected,” the resolution statement continued.
Chamisa won unopposed, while Biti, Ncube and Karenyi-Kore were elected as his three deputies.
Chalton Hwende was elected secretary-general after beating incumbent Douglas Mwonzora, while the treasurer-general’s post went to David Coltart, chairpersonship to Tabitha Khumalo and deputy chair post to Job Sikhala, with Paurina Mpariwa coming in as women’s assembly boss.
Little known Obey Sithole won as youth chair, while the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s daughter, Vimbai, was elected women’s assembly secretary-general in her absence.