MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, in a move widely seen as solving his succession plan, has appointed Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents of the party as he prepares for the crunch 2018 elections.
Announcing the appointments to the media at his Highlands residence in Harare yesterday, Tsvangirai said his party’s national council following its Thursday meeting had directed him to elevate the duo.
He said though that the national council had only recommended that he appoints one, he saw it prudent to make them two using his own discretion.
Tsvangirai insisted that he was still fit and up to the challenge against President Robert Mugabe.
“I only disclosed the state of my health. I did not declare a vacancy and what we are doing as a party is working on a process to say should a vacancy arise how we go about it.
“We want to ensure stability in the party, to ensure that there is no horse trading and that there will be a clear process.
“I don’t want to baby-dump the MDC because I have realised that there is a tendency for parties to rely on one person.
“However, at the end of the day the people will be the ones to choose their next leader following due process should I decide to step down. These appointments are only meant to help me,” Tsvangirai explained.
He said in coming up with the two names, he had taken into consideration “seniority and demography”.
The appointments mean that the party now has three vice presidents including Thokozani Khupe who is a product of the MDC elective congress held in 2014.
“In line with the directive given to me by the national council yesterday, I have now appointed Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as vice presidents of the party,” Tsvangirai said.
“The two will join (Thokozani ) Khupe in assisting me in the execution of my responsibilities and preparing the party for the next election.”
A former national organising secretary of the party, Chamisa controversially lost to Douglas Mwonzora in the duel for the position of secretary general at congress.
He was subsequently appointed by Tsvangirai into the MDC national executive where until his elevation was secretary for policy formulation.
Commenting after the announcement Mudzuri who is also former organising secretary of the MDC expressed gratitude to Tsvangirai “for showing confidence in me.
“We hope this will help us continue to build the party and that we will be able to help the president in that regard. I am happy that the president has confidence in me,” said Mudzuri the over zealous Elias Mudzuri.