Chamisa moves to consolidate his grip on MDC ahead of elective congress – report

2018-11-01 19:42
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change. (AFP)

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change. (AFP)

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Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is reportedly working towards consolidating his position within the Movement for Democratic Change, just a few months before the party's elective conference.

According to NewsDay, Chamisa’s plan was to build a "public swell of support" around his leadership in order to make it difficult for any potential challengers to contest for his position.

Party insiders were quoted saying that Chamisa was also working on consolidating his position within party structures.

"Chamisa is drumming up support and raving his popularity both within and outside the structures of the party, mainly to create an intimidatory fence that will deter other members of the party from challenging him at congress," an unnamed senior party official was quoted as saying.

"He knows he can’t stop the elections at congress, so he wants to make it seem like he can't be challenged."

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This came a month after reports indicated that there was a power struggle within the party.

A report by the state-owned Herald newspaper said that one of the party's powerful principles, Tendai Biti, was looking to grab the opposition leadership and the MDC Alliance in parliament, after winning the Harare East parliamentary seat.  

The report said that Biti was possibly being backed by the US, while Chamisa was trying to win over the United Kingdom.

"Remember Chamisa is not in parliament and Biti wants to exploit that absence to advance his ambitions as the natural leader of the opposition," an unnamed MDC Alliance source was quoted as saying by the Herald.

The source, however, said that Chamisa would come out on top because many candidates were loyal to him.

According to Daily News, Biti was expected to get a senior position at the MDC's elective congress next year, moving across from the People's Democratic Party which he was leading within the MDC Alliance. 

All six of the smaller parties within the alliance were reportedly expected to be integrated into the main MDC party, where Chamisa would be looking to surround himself with leaders of similar vision, the report said.

Read more on:    mdc alliance  |  tendai biti  |  nelson chamisa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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