MDC-T Vice President Elias Mudzuri is in the control seat of the party after he was appointed interim President to run the show as Morgan Tsvangirayi rests with hope of recuperation.
He gained advantage in the succession race when the Tsvangirayi family released a statement anointing him as the only channel they will use to update the nation on the thoughts and state of the ex-Prime Minister.
The Tsvangirai family`s intervention came after there was discord between Morgan Tsvangira
i`s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka and the party`s spokesperson Obert Gutu who are believe to be backing different candidates to take over from the ailing Tsvangirai.
In the statement released by the Tsvangirayi family they acknowledged the media whirlwind which has surrounded Tsvangirai since images of him emerged which inspired more calls for him to step down.
“We are conscious that politics can be full of controversy, some of it stalked by the media. We urge our wider family to see beyond the current difficulties and put love before anything else. We are confident that our God will heed all your prayers for which we continue to thank, and that Dr Tsvangirayi will be in good health again,” read the statement co-signed by Collins and Manasa Tsvangirai.
“We appreciate the arrangement that the party has made to ensure that he gets as much time as possible for rest and recuperation. During this period, we shall provide the party and the public with health updates he is making but only through the MDC-T Acting President to avoid misunderstandings, until he is back to full health and rejoins his colleagues in completing what he has worked so hard to achieve,” the statement read.
The statement is said to have factional undertones as the battle to take over from Tsvangirai nears its peak.
Insiders from the party say there is a three horse race pitting Vice Presidents Elias Mudzuri, Nelson Chamisa and Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora.
Mwonzora`s camp is said to be refusing the handpicking of a successor as they are confident that they are the most popular within the party structures, instead they are calling for an extraordinary congress to settle the issue through vote.
Mudzuri, on the other hand seems to have become Tsvangirai`s favourite since his appointment to the MDC-T Vice Presidency and feels like he should be the natural successor.
Chamisa is coy because of his popularity with the electorate and believes that he is the biggest name in MDC-T besides Tsvangirai.
Analysts have warned against an implosion within the opposition party if the succession issue is not handled with care.