Tendai Kamhungira 3 February 2018
HARARE – MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday heaped praise on his
deputy Nelson Chamisa, describing him as a “dedicated” cadre on his 40th
In a message on his microblogging site Twitter, an ailing Tsvangirai, who
along with Chamisa are members of the MDC’s founding “Top Six”, said the
party’s deputy president had shown unwavering dedication over the years.
“@nelsonchamisa joined the struggle for a new #Zimbabwe at an early age &
over the years has shown nothing but an unwavering dedication to complete
this journey, fierce loyalty to the people & a tenacity to confront any
obstacle along the way.
“Help me say HBD (Happy Birthday) as he turns 40 today,” Tsvangirai said
in a message accompanied with a picture of him and a young Chamisa taken
Chamisa, a founding member of the opposition MDC, turned 40 yesterday.
Apparently, the minimum age required to be elected president of the
Republic is 40 years on the day of the election.
The new charter also sets a maximum of two five-year terms for the
president and curbs presidential powers.
Both Tsvangirai and Chamisa have since the formation of the MDC in 1999,
fallen victim to former president Robert Mugabe’s iron fisted rule after
they were assaulted and left for dead by State security agents on several
Chamisa escaped death by a whisker after he was brutally assaulted in
March 2007 at Harare International Airport as he was trying to leave for a
meeting in Brussels, while Tsvangirai, along with pro-democracy activist
Lovemore Madhuku, were assaulted at a Harare police station after a prayer
session in 2007 called to protest worsening economic hardships then.
Chamisa started politics at a tender age, rising to be one of the youngest
ministers during the government of national unity that ran between 2009
He has served in all three arms of government, the Executive as a Cabinet
minister, the Judiciary as an advocate of the High Court, and in
Parliament as Kuwadzana East MDC member of Parliament.
Announcing his birthday on social media platforms yesterday, Chamisa
wrote: “The chronicles of Nelson Chamisa. My story @ 40..2 February is a
special day for me. I thank you all my friends for the warmth & love. I
glorify the Almighty God for faithfully taking me through it all”.
He received several congratulatory messages from friends and family, among
them MDC youth leader Happymore Chidziva popularly known as Cde Bvondo.
“Nelson Chamisa has over the years inspired many among the young
“He is a success story of the rich attributes and plethora of abilities
within the young generation. His journey to 40 years defeats the ancient
narrative and belief that youths are only leaders of tomorrow. His story
has proven that we lead today and tomorrow. Undoubtedly, he has become a
cherished legacy across the divide,” Chidziva said.
Academic Pedzisai Ruhanya who heads the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute
think-tank said: “As you turn 40 today and continue on your public
political life, you must be strong and liberal to accept criticism where
it is due in order to mature. This includes accepting censure from people
like me when you make unhelpful statements such as getting $15 billion
from Donald Trump.
“We criticise you not because we love your political adversaries and vice
versa but because the truth is enriching and enduring.
“Same applies to those in political power contestations in MDC-T such as
(Thokozani) Khupe, (Elias) Mudzuri and (Douglas) Mwonzora.
“When we make public your individual failings, it is not that we support
one candidate or the other but we do so based on proven and contestable
“We are free minds whose brief is straight talk and truth bar bootlicking.
Happy birthday to Hon Nelson Chamisa!”