MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora, who is all but set to contest party leader Nelson Chamisa for the presidency at the upcoming May Congress, has expressed loyalty to the party amid fears that a split might occur after Congress.
“If I don’t win elections, I will remain loyal to the party. Let me tell you the hierarchy of loyalty is in my mind. I am loyal to the cause, to democracy, justice to fairness. Secondly, I am loyal to the party, and thirdly, I am loyal to the leadership.
“In that order, and if our people whom we must respect vote a certain person in, that person deserves my respect, deserves my support and I will support that person for the next five years,” Mwonzora said.
Top MDC leaders including Morgen Komichi, Tendai Biti, Chalton Hwende, Happymore Chidziva, Lynette Karenyi and Welshman Ncube have thrown their weight behind Chamisa ahead of the elective congress.
Meanwhile, MDC Masvingo provincial chairperson James Gumbi confirmed Chamisa’s impending visit to the province today, but declined to shed more light on the purpose of the visit.
“The president is going to have a meeting with Masvingo structures. But it is an internal affair which I cannot share with the media; it is our housekeeping issues,” Gumbi said.
But sources said Chamisa was expected to crack the whip in the faction-riddled province in the wake of serious jockeying for positions ahead of the provincial congress scheduled for next month.
“Chamisa is set to lay the ground rules for the campaigns, which are currently underway. He is also seeking his home province’s vote,” a source said.
Gumbi is starving off a challenge by former Youth deputy minister and ex-Masvingo Urban legislator, Tongai Matutu, who is also eyeing the chairmanship post.
Matutu, who once joined a splinter party, the People’s Democratic Party then led by former Finance minister Tendai Biti as its deputy secretary-general, is backed by largely former rebels who rejoined the MDC.
Gumbi, on the other hand, has the backing of the party faithfuls, who criticise the party prodigal sons as chancers, bent only on getting positions.