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Zimbabwe's opposition leader loses party position

by Shingai Nyoka, BBC News
01 Apr 2020 at 08:07hrs | Views
Nelson Chamisa remains hugely popular among MDC supportersImage caption: Nelson Chamisa remains hugely popular among MDC supporters

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader has lost a court appeal to remain president of the biggest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The Supreme court on Tuesday ruled that Nelson Chamisa appointment in 2018 was illegal and that he is not the legitimate leader of the MDC.

The court said he was not elected by a congress as per the party rules.

Despite the internal leadership wrangles, Mr Chamisa won close to 45% of the national presidential vote, losing narrowly to President Mnangagwa in 2018 amidst claims of electoral fraud.

The MDC must now hold a congress within the next three months.

Thokozani Khupe, the former vice-president and Mr Chamisa's main challenger, will lead the party till then.

Both claim to be the legitimate leaders of the party. Mr Chamisa has more supporters and a control of the party's assets.

Analysts say his options now will be to appeal the ruling or form another party.

The MDC has split many times since its formation over 20 years ago - in nasty power struggles that have weakened its performance at elections.

Source - Shingai Nyoka, BBC News