By Costa Nkomo
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa, who last year deliberately reserved Glen View South constituency in Harare, for founding party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s family, has in the aftermath of his MP daughter Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java’s death, abandoned the plan altogether.
Tsvangirai-Java, former Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s eldest daughter, died early this month, succumbing to injuries sustained in a horrific car accident in May.
MDC secretary general Chalton Hwende, told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview Thursday that while the date of the by-election is yet to be proclaimed, the opposition party will open the contests to all interested.
“We will soon be calling for a primary election and that seat is not reserved but open for contestation by any of our members who meet the minimum requirements to stand as a Member of Parliament,” Hwende said.
Reports early this month claimed leading activists in the constituency were already jostling for the right to represent the party at the late Tsvangirai-Java’s funeral wake.
According to sources within the main opposition, former MP for the area Paul Madzore is front-runner to represent the MDC but is set to be challenged by Harare councillor Tonderai Chakaredza, among other hopefuls.
Madzore was coy when contacted for comment.
“I will wait to hear what the people of Glen View want. I will respect their position,” Madzore told NewZimbabwe.com.
“Remember, I had totally put all my weight behind our late Honourable Vimbai to see her succeed in executing her mandate and this was really not in my mind at all. I will however consult but not campaign. I feel the people of this constituency deserve a person they freely elect or choose. So if I am invited, yes it’s the home I know best.”
Other contestants include party district chairperson Wilbert Mubonderi and district secretary Joshua Pedzisayi.
Chakaredza, who currently serves as councilor for the area, however denied he was eyeing the seat.
Chamisa last year said the idea of reserving the seat for the Tsvangirai family was in honour of the MDC founding leader’s contribution to the “democratic struggle.”