How 2019MDC Congress Will Weaken Nelson Chamisa


Nelson Chamisa has been MDC President for just over a year. He inherited an organisation that had lost direction from the late MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The Decline of the MDC was centered on the leadership team that kept squabbling among itself, particularly, the Vice Presidents, Secretary Generals and their supporters.

The MDC was therefore internal facing, struggling with the question of who was going to take over from Morgan Tsvangirai.

This explains why Nelson Chamisa got so much support to take over. People in the street, ordinary members and MDC leaders wanted an energetic leader to take on ZANU PF and win. Thokozani Khuphe and Elias Mudzuri were clearly too weak for the task at hand.

The party therefore, required a strong leader to execute an immediate task – Winning the elections.

There was clearly little strategy formulation and leadership structures were limited to national positions.

After failing to take power from ZANU PF, the priorities have changed. The immediate task has been to rebuild the internal structures of the MDC from wards, district, Province and National Levels. This has became immediate because there were legitimately questions to be addressed around Nelson Chamisa’s ascendancy to the Presidency.

The biggest problem with the current MDC Congress processes has been the lack of clarity around the rules, Contestants at National level have been meddling in the Provincial Congress processes.
There has been a clear failure to appoint an independent third party to oversee the elections.

– There are many disputed outcomes at provincial level. The nomination process has also been tainted by slates. The MDC is clearly struggling with electing leaders in a democratic way. There are too many exceptions to the rules and many unsuitable leaders are making their way into MDC Structures.

– The issue of three Vice Presidents is a clear sign of failure to learn from the past. These three Vice Presidents will be the source of the next MDC Factional fight in the near future.

The overall effect is that there has been many questions around the current congress and many of the problems from the past are set to re-surface in the MDC. The same old leaders that were advising Morgan Tsvangirai are still around Nelson Chamisa.

The key priority now is for Nelson Chamisa to correctly read the mood of the nation. What do people in Zimbabwe want right now?

In my own opinion, people want ZANU PF out now. They can no longer wait until 2023 while the economy continues to crash into Hyperinflation.

Clearly, this MDC Congress has failed to address the two key questions: Renewal of the MDC structures and Burying the weaknesses of the past.

Nelson Chamisa will emerge weaker in the eyes of the voters. He has lost the moral high ground after presiding over a sham election in MDC Congresses.

Will people take to the streets to support Nelson Chamisa after his own internal election processes have been shown to be less democratic than required?

Will people take to the streets while seeing the same old faces in the MDC. Will this team bring real change?

These are key questions, but as far as I am concerned Nelson Chamisa has lost am opportunity to stamp his authority and take the MDC in a different direction.