Chamisa ousted

HARARE - Former MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora scored an unexpected crushing victory over youthful legislator Nelson Chamisa at the weekend, to win the coveted position of party secretary general.

The shock result — which saw Mwonzora getting 2 464 votes against Chamisa’s 1 756 — set tongues wagging within the party, amid allegations on social media platforms by the 36-year-old politician’s supporters that “Nikuv” had played a part in the surprise outcome.

Analysts now fear that Mwonzora’s stunning defeat of Chamisa, who until the weekend was the runaway favourite to land the SG’s post, the de facto second most powerful position in the party, could trigger a new wave of instability within the beleaguered official opposition.

Chamisa was conspicuously absent as results were announced at the congress, and he was not taking calls yesterday. But prior to the vote, he had been touted as “virtually a shoe-in for the post”, and had been seen as a potential successor to party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

“I feel very humbled by the massive support that I have received from the MDC family. This was a very big contest because I was contesting a very competent person, and I know honourable Chamisa is a man of great talent. He has a very good future, he should not be disheartened by this,” Mwonzora told the Daily News yesterday.

TETE A TETE: Nelson Chamisa (left) and Douglas Mwonzora follow proceedings during the congress. Pic: Annie Mpalume

The result of the ballot, announced at around 7am at the City Sports Centre yesterday, sent shock waves through the ranks of MDC supporters, amid claims that Chamisa may have paid dearly for crossing Tsvangirai’s path.

Supporters of the Kuwadzana East MP allege that he resisted a raft of constitutional changes that had been proposed by Tsvangirai, and which were meant to dilute the powers of the secretary general and centralise power in the MDC leader’s office.

This allegedly did not sit well with Tsvangirai and his supporters.

Ominously for Chamisa, the weekend party congress had resolved to concentrate power in the MDC leader’s office ahead of the ballot.

“Congress resolved to amend the constitution to allow the (MDC) president to be the custodian of the party name, custodian of all party assets, to supervise all in the leadership, to be the party’s chief fundraiser and to suspend National Standing Committee members through the National Council for breach of the party constitution,” a key resolution from the congress said.

“In this regard the secretary general shall no longer be responsible ‘for all party affairs in the National Secretariat’ and shall report to the president,” it went further.

“It’s a big joke,” said one official, opposed to the changes. “Now he can suspend anyone and he owns all properties. Just imagine. And everyone reports to him.”

Chamisa, a former student leader, had until the weekend never lost an election since helping form the MDC in 1999.

The former organising secretary, popular with many in the grassroots,  had a row with Tsvangirai at the Mutare nomination gathering, where he apparently accused the opposition leader of meddling in the Manicaland party provincial elections.

The elections saw Tsvangirai personally taking part in the nomination process there, where Mwonzora — who until then had not got any nominations for the SG post, got a ringing endorsement from the region.

But Chamisa’s opponents accuse the youthful legislator of being “big headed” and having over-weaning ambition. He was also accused by his detractors of allowing the party to suffer a crushing defeat in last year’s disputed national elections that were won controversially by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.

The results of the secretary general polls at the weekend, run by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), completely flew in the face of the nomination tally that had Chamisa garnering 11 out of 12 provinces.

Insiders say Chamisa’s defeat could reshape many areas of policy in the Standing Committee, in particular the so-called “scientific organising” he had introduced.

Many critics also say the MDC is unlikely to make much gains in the next national elections without the media-savvy former organisaing secretary, who has now become an ordinary card-carrying member.

One angry Chamisa supporter said: “These guys are vision-less like (President Robert) Mugabe. You can’t get rid of all your likely successors!”.


Comments (33)

Don't start creating stories. There was an election, secret ballot, and there is an outcome.The question is whether or not the process measures up to general democratic standards or not.Facts first then opinions based on facts later.Too much speculation even where speculative thought is not needed, hey!

Godfrey - 3 November 2014

it appears that the the electoral process was fair. no dust was raised in the election for other posts. why seem to generate acrimony. i hoped that there would an exaltation of democracy in this process. in truth, honorable chamisa was not ousted or baby dumped as in another report. the institution of the media should be fair and not generate chamisa will hopefully continue to make his contribution to the party through strong debate and good ideas. i think he can remain relevant.

taura chokwadi - 3 November 2014

Chamisa lost an election to a better candidate. Your story is full of opinion and not fact. If you had a reporter on the ground he should have told you what exactly transpired. It was very evident that Chamisa was very unpopular and he saw it and that is why he left even before the counting started. He saw that all had been lost when his preferred Youth candidates lost and again when his preferred Women assembly candidate Lillian Acropole lost to Lynet Karenyi. Everyone who was on Chamisa's slate except Charlton Hwende lost. Actually Amos Chibays confided in me that he had suffered collateral damage as a result of Chamisa's unpopularity. Chaibaya lost the organiser's position to Bhebhe

Tafirenyika Zhou - 3 November 2014

It was not about crossing MT's path, it was about how many supported him, being endorsed by a provincial chairman is different from being endorsed by people. Like Grace being endorsed by Oppah and suddenly everybody says she was endorsed by the whole provinces yet on other provinces it was now an imposition. This provincial nominations fooled my young brother and he thought he had bagged it.

maita - 3 November 2014

Like in any other political landscapes, new things always develop and this must not scare you Chamisa. Mwonzora's ideas will cross-pollinate the already existing ones that you put in place, and i believe for the betterment of the public.

Ba Carissa - 3 November 2014

another split looming. gegedaa seka zvako mwana wemuyera moyo

wind - 3 November 2014

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Flixcom Solutions - 3 November 2014

MDC-Chamisa coming soon . kkkkkkk

wind - 3 November 2014

I hope there will be a secrete ballot at zpf congress becoz vote by acclamation is intimidatory. For once learn good things from others.

zpf - 3 November 2014

where are your ethics when reporting? you had your candidate in mind whom you wanted to win,bt in democracy it doesn't work the way you like it.Mr Chamisa should not be taken aback by this speculative reporting ,shame on you dubious journalist.

gamatox - 3 November 2014

Nelson you are now behaving like Mugabe did way back in 1963 not to accept defeat. Move on youngman your chance will come, this is politics not a student movement make moves, maneuver, network and perform

Garikayi - 3 November 2014

Thanks Jah...... imagine 1/2 a liter of bronco that cheap all junkies from the ghetto would flock to MSU me included 1-Broncleer is sold in 100ml at $4.00 2-Marijuana is sold for a dollar a satchet abouth 50grams 3-Mugabe and Zanu PF suck 4-There is no God, Miracles,Demons,Luck, Angels,Mdzimu,Madlozi is an imaginary social construct, to control people 5-Islam is bullshit and very violnt especially the Hadis and the Sura they kill everyone who disagrees(infidels,apostates) 6-Mathematics frees the mind from prejudice and superstition 7-Theres no life after death,heaven,hell. 8-Zimbabwe is a failed state........ 9 The biggest lie Zimbabweans have been told is that if they vote Mugabe out the whites will colonize Zimbabwe 10- Mugabe and Zanu -PF refuse to accept that corruption and neopotism bred by him in the country has destroyed the state while MDC and Tsvangirai refuse to acknowledge the effects of the REAL economic sanctions on our economy

zimbabwe is FUCKED - 3 November 2014

Mdc-t national congress was marred with alot of irregularities 200 known supporters of Chamisa,Mutare 231 known Chamisa suppoters,midlands south 178 known Chamisa suppoters were removed frm congres list and some we even cahnge positions to positions of those who nt suppose to vote and tht was done by Abednico Bhebhe

@harvest house - 3 November 2014

Your reporting is pathetic to say the least. What do you mean by "baby dumped"? It was an election and he lost. There are many positions in the executive committee which can be appointed to.

MaMoyo - 3 November 2014

Chamisa is a very bright politician and he still have the age advantage on him the fact that it was a secret ballot l for one gives the process thumps up. Like the other speaker rightly said the young man should keep focused. Let him not be tempted to join the devil incarnates the mangomas and the mbitis of this world. He still has age and knowledge. I hope Zanu pf will also want to engage an independent body to conduct its election next month. Contrary to what these devil incarnates are saying that he was baby dumped by MT. Its the people who felt it was their demoncratic right to choose leaders of their choice. If Zanu pf adopts the same l tell every big wig will be beaten clean and that party will be rejuvinated both by word and did not all this re-cycling and recycledof the same people with recycled ideas. Can his excellance prove me wrong maybe as a doomsday prophecy and introduce the secret ballot tione kuti kuno dumpiwa vangani.

goodlife - 3 November 2014

Chamisa is a brilliant young politician. But the post of SG is too high for him considering the difficulties he faced as an organising secretary during primary elections. Let him first grow up a bit and his turn will come. For now he can settle for another positing in party. We salute you .

MARABU - 3 November 2014

Chamisa and company were cheated. Now, the winners have to ass-lick him to stay. What a paradox!! So honestly what have they won? Empty titles while dictator Tsvangirai now has all the power there is in the MDC-T

selele - 3 November 2014

Yes Chamisa is briliant his head is in the right place but his heart is very bad. The boy is dirty I will never forgive him for rigging in favour of Eric Knight. Now that Chikwinya is at renewal he wont hesitate to confirm that Chamisa dropped lots of ballot papers from him jacket pockets as he pushed Settlement Chikwinya aside and take over the counting. It was the worst imbarrazimend of the primary election. AFM cristian for that matter

What? - 3 November 2014

Well, well and well. At times politics is not all about being bright, in some cases humility is a hidden factor. Chamisa that, Chamisa this did not count much in this case. Hey it does not take years to suddenly (just 1 day!) become an ordinary card-carrying member of a party you are credited with creating. Yanga yakaipeyiko.

TM - 3 November 2014

We are being told Mugabe went to Vienna Austria on Saturday for a meeting on landlocked countries or some nonsense but I have a feeling Mugabe has gone to Vienna for medical attention. This is exactly what Sata was doing - going for medical care but it was reported as going on vacation.

Musona - 3 November 2014

jaguar - 3 November 2014

Its not a bad thing to have SG report to President. But they should not water down the powers of the SG and other officials to the extent they are mere lackeys. MDC doesn't seem to know where they are coming from, or their destination. If they cannot define an SG after 15 years, can they run Zisco Steel?

Nduna - 3 November 2014

Chamisa disorganised the movement so as such he must take a short break just to refresh himself he will bounce back once he remains calm and avoid mawara. and mangoromera by trying to fight Morgan .You are still young for vvp positions in the party you are still learning boy your time will come meanwhile you are still an mp that means you are still in the leadership of the party.

Diibulaanyika - 3 November 2014

@ Musona i totally agree with you that Mugabe is on a medical trip as we know that his body is no longer functioning naturally as it is now full of chinese ,korean,Maleysia ,indonesia ,south africa mishongazi and it can no longer manage to stomach all that and very soon what happened to Sata will happen to him too .Remember even Jabu was surprised to see him Mugabe still appearing on tv bcoz he knew he was horizontal and very unwell.

Diibulaanyika - 3 November 2014

Chamisa is too young to be a secretary general of a big party like MDC-T. He was going to end up making school boy mistakes. He should grow in the party and want to rule or have powerful positions all the time. What had he learned from the organizing secretary's post - nothing. He contributed to the losing of elections - he did not put an actual plan for winning the elections in place - achieved nothing - you want to advance to the next post. Hayi yekelani ukudlala ngathi. You want positions at the expense of winning the country for the people who vote for you - hayi mani lina bafana - be serious mani.

clement moyo - 4 November 2014

In any election, people vote and vote freely. Voting is not inclusive but exclusive and a privillage to only those that partcipate in that election. So there is no element of trying to come up with theories or witch hunting. He lost based on the opinions of the people who voted. Had it been obvious that he would win why calling for elections. Democratic election have no obvious winners. Its an opportunity for true caders to reshape and re-engineer the party and contribute positively bringing new ideas for the growth and expansion of the party. To winners and loosers I say conguratulations, job welldone and let work for the growth of the party, best our candidates have won. The party is bigger than all of us.

annanian - 4 November 2014

MT could not do anything for Chamisa to win.There is always a winner&a loser in any democratic elections.That's not the end for Chamisa anyway. But MDC T must work even harder & never be swayed by the infighting in ZANU PF. I also think MDC T did well to review the presidential powers.All big party wigs must report to the president&that's leadership NOT dictatorship as suggested by evil detractors.A leader has to be powerful&that's what the people want.There now 'll be legitimate & effective control.''Hatidi mazvake mazvake a BITI naMangoma.''

REALITY - 4 November 2014

Chamisa the next Zimbabwe President, ok Mr Morgan fair and fine, Chamisa will take you head on come next congress. your days are numbered and all those powers you installed on the dictator president will be back to the people

mukanya - 4 November 2014

Zim wants a robust opposition.iam Zanu pf Gammatox team instrumentalist.However, complemently different from other zvipfukuto people whom we are still forced to dine with i love democracy and appreciate the work done by my fellow compatriots in bringing our multi-party democracy in Zim.Now i get sad when i realize that the opposition is getting in operational problems.i think Chamisa is more of a vivacious character to be a secretay general of a strong party than Mr Mwonzora.Action speaks louder than words lets just see Chamisa record against Mwonzora.Now the fact that M.T maybe taking people loyal to him and anathematizing big brains is showing that he copied wrong things from Cde Mugabe and getting it wrong .We wish you well in your reorganization fellow brothers in MDC we need you in perfect health as much as we know you need us for the good of our Great Zim

carson Macate - 4 November 2014

It's an open secret that Chamisa has always been a darling with Journalists with his flowery language and it shows when you read this article. It is my own opinion that he should not be relegated to a mere card holding member as that would be a gross mistake. Chamisa is known for his intelligence and hard work. Mwonzora on the other hand as well is mature and also very dedicated to bringing about real change. Good luck guys, no more talk about splits we hope.

Dr Know - 4 November 2014

The issue here is not the sidelining of Chamisa, but the consolidation of a dictatorship within MDC-T. Has the country not learned?

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MDC Alheit Mission chikoro chakadzidza Chamisa is coming soon!

Chatama - 9 November 2014

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