MDC congress: Party youths vow to block Chamisa challengers

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By Leopold Munhende

THE Harare MDC youth assembly has declared war on any party official who will dare challenge interim President Nelson Chamisa during the main opposition’s May elective Congress.

In a strongly-worded press statement released on Monday, Harare youth assembly representative Womberaishe Nhende said they have since endorsed Chamisa to remain party president and will not entertain any other candidate approaching them for nomination.

“Anyone who has aspirations, thinks or dreams of challenging Chamisa probably will be declaring himself an enemy of MDC Harare province and an enemy of progress,” said Nhende.

Threats by the Chamisa aligned youths follow wide speculation that ambitious party secretary general Douglas Mwonzora could try to challenge for Chamisa’s job.

Mwonzora’s cause has not been helped by Zanu PF’s open support for his bid to land the opposition’s most influential job.

Chamisa’s allies have latched onto that and are now using it against Mwonzora.

“A reckless and Zanu PF supported presidential candidate choice will weaken the party ahead of future elections…it could be anyone. Zanu PF is afraid of our congress. We know that they are already panicking.

“That is why we are saying it will be a reckless decision to support whoever is backed by Zanu PF,” said youth league vice chair Stanley Manyenga who refused to name the said candidate.

“Already, we have endorsed our president. We are not sure about other provinces but here in Harare have already taken a position that we are supporting president Chamisa.

“So obviously even if he or she intends to be president of the party, the people have made a statement. They have already rejected any other candidate.”

The main opposition has been rocked by internal fissures amid horse trading by hawks keen to land high positions during the party’s first elective process since the death of founding MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year.

In attempts to disassociate himself with claims he was a Zanu PF choice for the top job, Mwonzora argues it was not possible for a system that has detained him 34 times in his political career ro suddenly start wishing him well.

“I have no support from Zanu PF. I do not want that support as well. I rely on the members of MDC who know me better and who know my history,” said Mwonzora.

The Harare lawyer also accused deputy party chair and Chamisa ally Tendai Biti of being funded by Zanu PF.