Out of the eight MDC bigwigs vying for the position of vice president (VP) in the party, five of them will be condemned to ordinary card-carrying members if they lose their bids.
The MDC constitution provides for three VPs.
On Saturday, the party – through its National Council – reserved one of the three slots for a female candidate as part of its efforts to bring about gender equity at the top.
One of MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s three deputies will be a woman after the party resolved to set aside the position for female candidates yesterday.
Chamisa has been nominated unopposed by 11 out of the 12 party provinces, with the South African branch yet to vote ahead of the May 25 to 26 congress to be held in Gweru, where the former minister will most likely be confirmed as the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s successor.
However, the race for his three deputies has a crowded field with Tendai Biti, Morgen Komichi, Welshman Ncube, Tracy Mutinhiri, Lillian Timveos, Lynette Karenyi and Paurina Mpariwa having received nominations.
The decision by the MDC national council, which met in Harare yesterday, means that one of the heavyweights between Biti, Komichi and Ncube will fall by the wayside.
Before the latest resolution, Chamisa had insisted that every post must be subjected to an open contest.
MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume confirmed the decision,
“In that regard, the national council resolved to consider on the position in the presidium so that one of the vice-presidents will have to be a woman,” he said.
Mutinhiri, Timveos and Karenyi confirmed that they accepted nominations and are ready for the contest.
Mafume said the meeting did not discuss the need to reserve one of the VP posts for Matabeleland as was the norm, but said delegates were aware of the need for ethnic balance.
More to follow…