Three MDC senior officials have expressed interest in the party’s provincial chairmanship that is up for grabs next month when structures gather at the elective congress in Gweru.
The three are Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe, Mberengwa businessman Davison Shoko and the current deputy chairperson Cleopas Shiri, who is also deputy mayor for Gweru.
The current chair, Francisco Masendeke is stepping aside and would not be seeking reelection.
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Shiri is a trade unionist and former civic society leader. He confirmed to Newsday that he will be contesting for the post. Said Shiri:
I am one of the sons of the party who joined the movement during its early days under the guidance of our icon the late president [Morgan] Tsvangirai.
I have also been in the trenches as deputy chair of the province, so I feel I have the bundle of experience and energy to lead.
Gweru Mayor Josiah Makombe, who is also the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe president, confirmed his interest in the post. He said:
I have served the party well since its early days and I have been treasurer for the main province’s structure for the past term.
I feel it is time I lead the province because I have gained what it takes.
If elected, my first priority will be to ensure the party makes inroads into the constituencies controlled by Zanu PF, because in the Midlands we have very few MPs from MDC.
MDC merged the two Midlands provinces, that is, Midlands South and North in a power-sharing deal earlier this month.
Under the deal, Midlands South will provide the chairperson, treasurer and spokesperson for the main provincial executive, while the organising secretary, provincial secretary and secretary for elections will come from Midlands North, among other terms.