MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has warned party officials jostling for positions against using his name and status during their campaign ahead of the watershed opposition congress set for next month.
Tsvangirai spoke on Saturday as he led a high-powered delegation of national leaders to the Masvingo provincial congress, which ushered in a new leadership chaired by veteran trade unionist, James Gumbi.
Tsvangirai also dismissed as false reports that he prefers certain candidates for positions and was leading a faction ahead of the congress.
“Let me make it clear that I do not prefer certain individuals over others to take positions.
“It’s not my duty to impose leaders on you, it’s your right to chose for yourselves and I will work with anyone whom you chose.
“I do not lead a group or a team. So those who are campaigning using my name or saying they are from my team should stop that,” said Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai’s delegation at the Masvingo meeting included national chairman Lovemore Moyo, his deputy Morgen Komichi, national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, his deputy Abedinico Bhebhe, acting secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada, deputy spokesperson Tabita Khumalo and scores of provincial youths.
The Daily News witnessed youths running around lobbying and distributing campaign materials as jostling for top positions hots up ahead the MDC national congress.
Positions up for grabs at the elective congress include the secretary general’s post, which is expected to be hotly contested between Chamisa and party spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora.
Chamisa who has since been nominated by Chitungwiza and Harare provinces also proved popular in Masvingo after he was nominated by 234 against Mwonzora’s 91. Newly-elected provincial Masvingo provincial chairman, Gumbi beat interim chairman, Bernard Chiondegwa by 300 hundreds votes after he garnered 901. Chiondegwa was however, appointed the provincial representative in the national council.
Gumbi will deputised by Noah Mutisi of Chivi, while Tichinani Mavetera (Gutu) was elected secretary, Takanayi Mureyi (Masvingo West) a well-to-do Harare businessman, was voted treasurer, with Simon Ziki (Bikita) assuming the organising secretary’s post while Dusty Zivhave (Chiredzi) landed the provincial spokesperson position.
Phillip Chingini was voted provincial youth assembly chairperson while Patience Mugo won the women assembly leader’s post.
Newly-elected treasurer, Mureyi pledged to change the fortunes of the party in the province.
“This new team is a game changer, we pledge to work hard and re- the party in Masvingo. Things will never be the same again as we are ready to take on the common enemy (Zanu PF) and emancipate people in the country,” said Mureyi.