ZIMBABWE’S main opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai (MDC-T), will hold its extraordinary congress today (Saturday) at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) to elect a new leader.
The breakaway faction of the MDC-T is currently led by the 2018 presidential election candidate Thokozani Khupe.
The MDC-T had previously represented a credible threat to the Mugabe regime, managing to lead in the first round of elections in 2008. But the death of former prime minister and party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, in 2018 sparked hostilities between the three vice-presidents of a party whose history has often been the scene of violent power struggles.
These rivalries have created an opportunity for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has a strong grip on the military and security apparatus, to run for a second term in 2023 without a challenge from a credible opposition candidate.
This election is of crucial importance for the MDC-T. It presents a critical test of the party’s ability to unite and face the ruling Zanu PF in 2023. Splits within the opposition are likely to strengthen the dominance of Zanu PF.