MDC-A elective congress 2019: party in a quandary over ‘vacant’ positions

The MDC Alliance is in a quandary over which party positions will be contested for in the upcoming elective congress slated for May 24-May 26.

This was revealed by party leader Nelson Chamisa on Wednesday as he addressed journalists after a National Standing Committee meeting at the Morgan Tsvangirai House in Harare.

“The actual position is something to be determined by the National Council at a penultimate meeting to be held just before the congress, we will see to which positions are open to election at an appropriate time,” said Chamisa after being asked on which positions will be open for contest.

The  MDC-A  seems to have a headache especially on the contentious secretary general position which is currently held by Douglas Mwonzora.  According to their constitution, the presidium and chairperson’s positions are open to contest.

“There is still debate on the Secretary General’s position whether its open  for contest or not, but that is a product of our own interparty democratic processes,” said Chamisa.

Chamisa was trounced by Mwonzora for the same position in 2014.

The secretary general is considered one of the most important positions in the party.

Previous holders of the position ended up leading splinter groups which left the party weaker -a scenario the party wants to avoid.

In 2006, Welshman Ncube left the party to form the first splinter group whilst Tendai Biti left in 2016. Currently the position is held by Douglas Mwonzora who is rumoured to be eyeing for the presidential position.

Mwonzora has been holding the position since 2014 and is said to be influential in the party structures while Chamisa has gained the grassroots support. The position of Secretary General is believed by some party leaders as too influential thus the holder needs to be appointed rather than elected so that they can be controlled by the appointer.

Chamisa further alluded that the party is a democratic party and is not heading for a split as being suggested by political observers.

“There shall be an independent body that will be put to monitor the proceedings of the congress,” Chamisa said.

Prior to the elective congress, they will hold branch and ward elections in March. This will then be followed by district and provincial elections to be held in  April.