Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have a new leader in Nelson Chamisa following the death in South Africa of its only known leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Chamisa, 40, until now was a deputy to Tsvangirai had earlier been named interim leader when the health of his boss deteriorated weeks ago. His appointment was by the MDC’s national executive body.
The former Prime Minister died on Wednesday in a Johannesburg hospital where he was seeking treatment for colon cancer. Party faithful gathered at the MDC headquarters to mourn the former leader.
Tsvangirai had three vice-presidents with the elected one being Thokozani Khupe – who was conspicuously absent from the national executive meeting. Chamisa and the other, Elias Mudzuri, were appointed to their roles by the former leader.
There has been in-house fighting over who takes over from Tsvangirai at a time his health continued to decline. Zimbabwe goes to the polls later this year with Emmerson Mnangagwa hoping to lead Zanu-PF to victory.
Tsvangirai is without doubt Zimbabwe’s most potent opposition voice. He has led the MDC since its formation in 1999 and the party has posed the most formidable challenge to the ruling Zanu-PF party.