The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) National Council has appointed Nelson Chamisa (40) as the party’s acting president following the death of its founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
A former Prime Minister in the coalition government, Tsvangirai, 65, died in South Africa on Wednesday after a long battle with colon cancer.
Tsvangirai’s death cast his Movement for Democratic Change party into unknown territory less than three months after the army ousted Zimbabwe’s veteran ruler Robert Mugabe.
But in the youthful and prayerful Chamisa, the MDC may have a leader who can galvanise the youth and Christian vote in the country. It remains to be seen if he can unite the deeply divided party.
A decision by Tsvangirai to appoint an extra two Vice Presidents in Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri in addition to the elected Thokozani Khupe has created a crisis over who should be in charge.
Legal experts say the MDC National Council is the highest decision making body in between Congress and by appointing Chamisa Acting President has taken the first steps towards a final resolution.