MDC's Chamisa makes sweeping leadership changes - report
Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has reportedly made sweeping changes to the leadership of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.
According to NewsDay, Chamisa appointment Welshman Ncube and Morgan Komichi as vice-presidents, while one of his most senior lieutenants, Biti was given a deputy party chairperson seat.
Ncube, and Biti were among the MDC founding members and served as secretary generals before an acrimonious fallout in 2005 and 2013 respectively with the party's founding leader, the late Morgan Tsvangirai.
The two were, however, part of a group that contested the July 30 election as MDC Alliance under Chamisa's leadership.
Komichi took over from Lovemore Moyo who quit the party to form his own political party early this year, following the death of Tsvangirai.
A New Zimbabwe report quoted Chamisa's spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda, as saying: "The president is keen to let the country know that he is beginning the process of strengthening the party and to manage it along on the basis of his smart policy, in line with the need to prepare the party to reclaim the stolen victory.
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"The president is also working hard to return the party to its original strength by integrating members of the MDC alliance into the MDC."
But Analysts said Chamisa’s appointments were meant to deal with possible threats to his position.
The changes came as reports in recent weeks suggested that there was a brewing power struggle within the party after the country’s disputed elections.
According to the state-owned Herald, Biti was looking to grab the opposition leadership and the MDC Alliance in parliament, after winning the Harare East parliamentary seat.
"Remember Chamisa is not in parliament and Biti wants to exploit that absence to advance his ambitions as the natural leader of the opposition," an unnamed MDC Alliance source was quoted as saying.
The source, however, said Chamisa would come out on top because many candidates were loyal to him.