MWONZORA: ‘I’m eligible for MDC presidency’

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By Anna Chibamu

OPPOSITION MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora is not ruling out a challenge for party presidency at an elective congress which is now set for May this year.

Reports have linked Mwonzora, along with co-vice president Elias Mudzuri, with a possible bid to take on charismatic party leader Nelson Chamisa.

In an interview with Monday, Mwonzora was coy about the prospect, saying indicatively that one’s wish alone was not enough.

“I am eligible for the presidency for sure and I am sure I qualify,” he said.

“I am full member of the MDC and have full rights in terms of its constitution including the right to contest any position.

“However, I am waiting for the nomination process to see where I will be nominated.”

He continued; “What will happen is that there will be a process of nomination, so we will have to wait for this process.

“In other words, one’s desire is not enough as one has to be nominated by at least one provincial assembly.

“I will only know tomorrow (Tuesday) exactly what people are saying. I will do what the MDC people ask me to do.”

The MDC will hold its congress between 12-14 May this year.

Addressing party supporters in Gweru at the weekend, Chamisa said all party positions were open for contestation.

However, key party organs – including the main wing, the youths and the women’s assembly – were emphatic that Chamisa’s must not be challenged.

The widely popular 41-year-old grabbed power in controversial and violent circumstances last year following the death founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

He has since consolidated his position and looks untouchable after a solid performance in the disputed July 30 elections.

Said youth leader Love more Chinoputsa at the Gweru rally; “A person who amassed 2,6 million votes must not be contested at the congress.

“As the youth assembly we are reaffirming our support for you president Chamisa.”

But Mwonzora has outsmarted Chamisa when the latter was a runaway favourite in previous contests.

At the party’s 2014 congress, Mwonzora pulled a surprise when he defeated the then Kuwadzana East Member of Parliament to land the powerful secretary general’s post.

And perhaps harkening back to that stunning upset, Mwonzora told on Monday that; “I have dealt with a few things.

“I believe that Zimbabwean problems require the correct temperament and unquestionable understanding of what democracy entails.”