Nelson Chamisa

From Pindula

Nelson Chamisa
Nelson Chamisa.jpg
Vice President of the MDC-T,
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 15, 2016
Member of Parliament Kuwadzana East Harare, Zimbabwe
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 31, 2013
Personal details
Born Nelson Chamisa
(1978-02-02) February 2, 1978 (age 38)
Silveira Mission, Masvingo
Political party Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirayi (MDC-T)
Spouse(s) Sithokozile Chamisa
Children Ashley Chamisa
Religion Christianity


Nelson Chamisa is a Zimbabwe politician who is currently the Member of Parliament of Kuwadzana East under the MDC-T. He is also the new vice president of MDC-T. In 2003, Chamisa broke new ground in the politics of Zimbabwe by becoming the youngest Member of Parliament at age 25. He was also the youngest cabinet Minister in Zimbabwe's Government of National Unity in 2009 when he was appointed Minister of Information and Communication Technology.

Background

He was born to Alice and Sylvanus Chamisa on February 2, 1978 at Silveira Mission in Masvingo. He is married to Sithokozile and the couple has a son Ashley.[1]


Education

Chamisa is a proud holder of the following degrees

  • BBA Marketing Degree IMM, SA.
  • BSc Honors Political Science, Zimbabwe.
  • Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy, Zimbabwe.
  • Governance and Development studies, Stanford University in California, USA.

He also studied Law at the University of Zimbabwe

Activism and Political Career

Chamisa announced his grand entry into politics during his college days when he was appointed Harare Polytechnic Student Representative Council (SRC) president in his first year in 1998. The college authorities took notice of his presence and suspended him for allegedly inciting violence in Chegutu. He was only re-admitted after a high court ruling. This however, did not dissuade him but fueled the embers of his activism to the extent that he was elected the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) Secretary General in 1999.[2]

It is this this background that saw him voted the MDC national youth chairman between 2000 and 2006. He was voted Kuwadzana member of parliament in 2003 through a by election becoming the youngest MP at 25. His brevity and outspokenness won the hearts of the MDC leading to his appointment as the party's spokesperson in 2005. He has rose through the ranks to become MDC organizing secretary in 2011, a position he still holds. During his tenure as Information and Communication Technology minister between 2009 and 2013, ICT products were crossing in the country duty free.

Loss of Positions in the MDC

During the national congress held in November 2014, Nelson Chamisa lost two influential opportunities which many political commentators had tipped him to win. He was reduced to an ordinary card carrying member. First, Chamisa lost the position of the Organising Secretary which had made him famous and influential in the party. He had held the position for a number of years and was at the helm of activity during the days of the government of national Unity from 2008 to 2013.[3]


Prior to the elective congress held in Harare at City Sports Centre, Chamisa had won in all the 10 provinces were the preliminaries were held. This raised hopes within the party that Chamisa was heading for a landslide victory. Tempers were already set as the Nelson Chamisa supporters indicated that Chamisa was already in charge as the Secretary General of the Party. However, considering how Chamisa eventually lost the elections, there was widespread speculation that there was serious vote buying in the initial elections which saw his victory. Vote buying however could not be entertained during the national elective congress and this subsequently resulted in his defeat.

The election results were as follows; Douglas Mwonzora garnered 2 464 votes against Chamisa’s 1 756.[3] A number of reasons have also been given for Chamisa's loss. Some believe that Chamisa had become vocal against Morgan Tsvangirai' s plans to centralise power. Thus there was a conspiracy between Morgan Tsvangirai and Mwonzora and other senior party members to discard young Chamisa from the front-line. On the contrary, Mwonzora, who was contesting against Chamisa was accused of boot-licking in order the support of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.[3]


Factionalism

After the loss, there was speculation that Chamisa was going to join the so called 'renewal team' led by Welshman Ncube. However Chamisa broke the silence when he announced that he had no plans to join a political which had left the mainstream party to establish an independent political entity. Soon after his ouster from party politics, Chamisa was appointed a legal practitioner by the High Court of Zimbabwe and that came as consolation which, perhaps, giving him a smile after the humiliating losses.[4]

Ouster Rumours

After his ouster as party's Organising Secretary, there were rumours that the National Executive of the party was planning to pass a vote of no confidence on Chamisa. It was alleged that Chamisa had plans to unseat a constitutionally elected president of the party Tsvangirai. It is believed that Chamisa had partnered other strategic party leaders especially in the you wing to remove Tsvangirai from the presidency. This came after the controversial elective congress in 2014 which saw Mwonzora taking the position of the Secretary General which Chamisa was also contesting for. After the planned ouster began to circulate in the local media, the MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu denied the factionalism allegations in the party. He was quoted in the Herald saying, “It is news to me, I am hearing it for the first time. I am the national spokesperson of the party and I have never heard of anything like that. Hon Chamisa is a valuable member of our party who was recently appointed to run a very crucial portfolio in the national executive,”.[5]

Appointment to MDC-T Vice Presidency

In mid July 2016 Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri were appointed as the party's new Vice Presidents.They joined the party's first vice president Thokozani Khupe at a time when Morgan Tsvangirai was diagnosed with cancer.


Awards

He has received local as well as international awards for his intellect prowess.

  1. Best student Practice of marketing IMM Southern Africa
  2. University of Zimbabwe Book prize (twice) Political Science and International Relations
  3. Victors award 2011 outstanding and exemplary leadership
  4. Minister of the year 2011
  5. Voted top 35 of under 35 young people in International Affairs


Trivia

  • He was the youngest member of Parliament for Kuwadzana Constituency.
  • He was also the youngest cabinet Minister in 2009.

References

  1. The Truth About: Nelson Chamisa
  2. Biography, Nelson Chamisa Official Website, Retrieved: 23 March 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 , Tsvangirai ‘baby dumps’ Chamisa, "Newsday", published:3 Nov 2014,retrieved:14 Nov 2014"
  4. , Mwonzora beats Chamisa to become MDC-T secretary general, "NewZimbabwe", published:2 Nov 2014,retrieved:14 Nov 2014"
  5. L. Mataire, Chamisa Plot Thickens,The Herald, published:01 Jan 2015,retrieved:2 Jan 2015"