I did not demote Mwonzora, Chamisa says while defending Mahere appointment

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By Leopold Munhende

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has dismissed claims he has deliberately relegated his former challenger Douglas Mwonzora to the less influential job of party deputy secretary for international relations in his new appointments to the MDC national executive.

At a media briefing to announce the new MDC leadership at his party’s main headquarters in Harare on Thursday, Chamisa also defended his surprise decision to draft into firebrand lawyer and rights activist Fadzayi Mahere, now in charge of the party’s education portfolio.

Chamisa on Wednesday unveiled his new national executive in which he deployed Mwonzora to international relations.

The respected MDC politician who once defeated Chamisa to the post of secretary general in 2014 is now junior to Gladys Hlatshwayo.

This fuelled claims Chamisa, even though he appeared to be giving a new lease of life to the Manicaland’s senator’s waning political fortunes, was in fact downgrading Mwonzora.

“Secretary for International Relation is Gladys Hlatshwayo who will be deputised by none other than the former secretary general Douglas Togarasei Mwonzora,” Chamisa said of a politician who recently lost his bid to retain the post of secretary general.

“I heard a lot of people say Mwonzora has been demoted. We had an election and there was an outcome to that election.

“What we have done is to say Cde Mwonzora has to continue to serve particularly in the leadership of the party which is something that is not common in political parties like Zanu PF and other such vindictive political parties.

“We believe in working together and must be able to unite people going forward.”

During the period leading up to the MDC elective congress, Mwonzora remained a threat to Chamisa’s bid to keep his job which he stampeded his colleagues away from on the news of founding party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s death February last year.

Chamisa also spoke on his decision to appoint 2018 election independent MP candidate, lawyer and University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Fadzayi Mahere as secretary for education.

“Some of the appointments we have made are people like Fadzayi Mahere. I have seen a lot of things flying around.

“Fadzayi Mahere decided to join the party some time ago after our discussions because we are also reaching out to young Zimbabweans who are able to contribute…experts, activists, trade union leaders have to be part of what we believe is the buzz and revolutionary trend to Zimbabwe.”

Among some of the highlights in Chamisa’s new executive are former party vice president Morgen Komichi who was redeployed to Planning and Strategies in the President’s office where he is being deputised by Lilian Timveos, who also lost her bid to become party co-VP during the MDC May congress.

Former party VP and ex-Harare Mayor, Elias Mudzuri will head the Local Government Portfolio.

Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume is now the Elections Secretary. He leaves the post to Daniel Molekele who will be deputised by former Daily News journalist Luke Tamborinyoka.