Tsvangirai speaks on Chamisa ouster

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday hinted that Nelson Chamisa could be co-opted into the MDC national executive.

The former prime minister told the Daily News in an exclusive interview in Harare yesterday that the 36-year-old’s sudden fall from power does not mean he stops taking a prominent role in the MDC.

Chamisa, touted as a potential successor to Tsvangirai, is the highest-ranking MDC official to lose re-election to a challenger since the movement rose to prominence in 1999. It is likely to go down as one of the most stunning defeats in MDC history.

Chamisa lost to Douglas Mwonzora, who is now the new MDC secretary-general.

“Nelson Chamisa, (Tapiwa) Mashakada, whoever may have felt they have not succeeded; they are leaders of the party,” Tsvangirai told the Daily News, also referring to Mashakada’s loss to Theresa Makone in the hot-contest for the treasurer-general’s post.

“They cannot just be card-carrying members. They have responsibilities to carry out.

“Losing a position does not mean you lose your role in the struggle. You can be deployed elsewhere.”

Tsvangirai said Chamisa’s loss was a repeat of the stunning upset at the 2011 MDC congress held in Bulawayo, in which party veteran Elias Mudzuri lost the organising secretary post to Chamisa.

“In 2011, (Elias) Mudzuri was not elected as organising secretary,” Tsvangirai told the Daily News.

“We co-opted him into the executive. He played his role in the executive effectively.”

Supporters of the Kuwadzana East MP allege that Chamisa 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.

But Tsvangirai denied that there was a rift between him and Chamisa.

“There is no fallout between me and Chamisa, everyone knows. I don’t know why people want to find fissures that don’t exist,” he said.

Describing his relationship with Chamisa as a “father-son” relationship, Tsvangirai said  the former student leader, who had until the weekend never lost an election since helping form the MDC in 1999, could still rebound.

“Well, it’s a sad outcome, you know my relationship with Nelson goes beyond just national, it’s personal; it’s a father-son relationship,” Tsvangirai said.

“However, I want to say that it’s a temporary setback. I am sure he is young enough to rebound.”

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

But Tsvangirai denied accusations that he was centralising power in his office.

He said sometimes instability arises because of confusion of roles.

“And you need role clarity to ensure there is more coherence than situations where there appears to be competition rather than cooperation,” Tsvangirai said.

“I am a believer in democracy. I have fought a dictatorship all my life. I cannot believe that centralising power in an individual is helpful to the organisation.”

Comments (27)

We ae well aware of the fact that this is all a strategy to give Chamisa all the powers. He is to be the second VP then eventually at the helm so Biti chila hako mbiti idzi tadzibata dzisati dzambodii.

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 5 November 2014

Mugabe in the making...If the "people" rejected the guy why are you co-opting? This is politics of patronage. The will & power then moves from the "people" to the leader. Chamisa will then become a stooge ready to service the whims of the one who installed him.

Galore 123 - 5 November 2014

“I am a believer in democracy. I have fought a dictatorship all my life. I cannot believe that centralising power in an individual is helpful to the organisation.” Oh give over, a person fighting a dictatorship will not be a zanu commissar in the 80s when zanu was fighting & murdering for a one party state. So which "whole" life are you talking about?

Lt General - 5 November 2014

“I am a believer in democracy. I have fought a dictatorship all my life. I cannot believe that centralising power in an individual is helpful to the organisation.” Oh give over, a person fighting a dictatorship will not be a zanu commissar in the 80s when zanu was fighting & murdering for a one party state. So which "whole" life are you talking about?

Lt General - 5 November 2014

“I am a believer in democracy. I have fought a dictatorship all my life. I cannot believe that centralising power in an individual is helpful to the organisation.” Oh give over, a person fighting a dictatorship will not be a zanu commissar in the 80s when zanu was fighting & murdering for a one party state. So which "whole" life are you talking about?

Lt General - 5 November 2014

“I am a believer in democracy. I have fought a dictatorship all my life. I cannot believe that centralising power in an individual is helpful to the organisation.” Oh give over, a person fighting a dictatorship will not be a zanu commissar in the 80s when zanu was fighting & murdering for a one party state. So which "whole" life are you talking about?

Lt General - 5 November 2014

Chamisa do not think that you are ordained to win and rule. Things have changed, accept defeat and try next time. You are still ayoung and energetic so why worry, do not behave like Mugabe who wants to be THE PERSON. Learn leran and learn politics otherwise go into business or to the UK like Tafadzwa Musekiwa. Well done Mr Mwonzora and please teach the youngsters to accept defeat.

garikayi - 5 November 2014

Well Articulated Honourable Dr. Richard Tsvagirai. The essence of democracy is to move on after an election and coopt "useful losers". We hope you will continue working with all the losing candidates, without undermining the elected Leadership. We are firmly together in the struggle.

Tellme - 5 November 2014

true that one garikai it tym for you to work and built a good and sound relation with pipo starting from your grass roots kuwadzana where you are still to for fill your promises eg kuvhura library

dr viru - 5 November 2014

the Mdc t party is bigger than every except president Tsvangirai

prerajulizattion - 5 November 2014

the Mdc t party is bigger than every member except president Tsvangirai

prerajulizattion - 5 November 2014

Like him or not what Tsvangirayi has said is very correct. Mudzuri lost but was still a useful member of MDC, so I still want to believe Chamisa can still be useful. People are just creating chaos in the MDC. So why did they want MDC to have a congress if they had people in mind who should lead?

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qw - 5 November 2014

young man... forget the past its now a new chapter in life. Solider on with your life. You win some and you lose some but take you defeat as a learning point to prepare for the future.. your time will come and you will win.

thus the game - 5 November 2014

The math is: Tsvangirai will now use the newly acquired dictatorial powers to coopt "normal card carrying cadres" when and as he finds it fit. In other words, if Chamisa wants to be relevant, he has to lick a*ss thoroughly.

selele - 5 November 2014

The MDC T congress has come and gone everything went well under the able leadership of non other than Morgan . The party is intact and solid . No insults ,fights accusation after another .Thanks ,twaalumba ,siyabonga ,taboka ,yikhensile ,tinotenda ,MDC T for showing maturity . But meanwhile at check check house things are fall apart every day may be god ;s answer to zibambwean 's prayers has come lets wait and see.

Diibulaanyika - 5 November 2014

Mean while at check check house things are falling apart

Diibulaanyika - 5 November 2014

Ecc 9:11 I realized another thing, that in this world fast runners do not always win the races, and the brave do not always win the battles. The wise do not always earn a living, intelligent people do not always get rich, and capable people do not always rise to high positions. But luck happens to everyone.

wezhara - 5 November 2014

The myopic Biti & his so-called RENEWAL TEAM foolishly tried to win Chamisa from MDC T. And given the misleading NEWSDAY heading 'TSVANGIRAI BABY DUMPS CHAMISA' tells clearly their hidden, sinister agenda against MT & his MDC T. Fortunately,Chamisa is a great visionary who helped form MDC to fight for the people's true freedom.He is a real democrat,NOT a power hungry idiot.Chamisa is a fearless,intelligent freedom fighter. It is very prudent for MT to co-opt Chamisa into the MDC T executive to make use of the young man's intelligence& hardworking spirit. The same happened to the Honourable Mudziri in 2011.

KUREMARA KWEPFUNGWA - 6 November 2014

Tsvangirai has spoken like a true leader, he makes it hard not to have confidence in him. Detractors are already rubbing their palms wishing for another split, but Chamisa being the intelligent and forward looking young man that he is, I'm sure he will accept whatever position he may be appointed and continue with the fight for real change just as Mudzuri did. It's definately not the end of him, his doom will only come if he listens to those trying to push him to leave the people's party. Look at people like Biti, Ncube, Madhuku, Holland, and Gwisai who were clandestinely hood winked by doom sayers into believing they were bigger than the people's struggle for real change, where are they now?

Dr Know - 6 November 2014

African leaders have no expiry dates like tinned beans, can't c the differences now btwn Bob n Tsvangison!

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