Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is believed to be the only leader whose post is considered safe ahead of the congress, which initial reports indicated would be held in May.
There are reports that the UK- based founding MDC youth secretary general Bekithemba Mpofu, who last year earned a doctorate in economics together with a senior official are eyeing treasurer general Roy Bennett’s post.
This followed speculation that the battle-weary former Chimanimani legislator might throw in the towel in the face of the relentless persecution by Zanu PF.
The former commercial farmer could not be reached for comment. Mpofu confirmed that he will be returning in April but refused to be drawn into whether he will be contesting for any position at the congress.
“I am a founding member of the party and its inaugural youth secretary general so there is no question about my participation in the party structures on my return,” he said.
Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone also has a fight on her hands to keep her post as the chairperson of the women’s assembly with reports that Lucia Matibenga who was the hot favourite to land the post in 2007 is still interested.
Nelson Chamisa, the party’s information secretary was last week forced to deny reports that he is eyeing organising secretary Elias Mudzuri’s post.
Indications are that Tsvangirai will also be forced to do a balancing act and help elevate a number of leaders from Matabeleland still angry about his 2009 decision to leave them out of his list of cabinet nominees.
Sources said there were concerns that if Tsvangirai does not play his cards right his party would lose ground to the MDC faction now led by Welshman Ncube.
MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti yesterday all but confirmed that the fight for posts was now on and that it could be an ugly contest when he announced special courts to deal with cases of vote-buying, violence and tribalism.
He spoke after a national executive meeting at Harvest House yesterday, which sources said agreed to avoid a repeat of previous situations where senior officials used money and violence to get positions.
“We have seen that genuine party cadres who have the people at heart are being sidelined because there are those with money who have hidden agendas,” said a senior member of the party.
“We know that if the primary elections are held in a democratic manner as should happen, those people will not see the light of day.”
Biti said they had adopted a code of conduct that will address issues of vote-buying, violence, tribalism and nepotism ahead of the congress.
“Anyone found wanting will be expelled, although after going through internal disciplinary actions,” Biti said. “We are a party that does its business without intimidation, coercion, violence or bribery.
“Corruption and other vices are alien to the MDC character.”
Sources said the new code of conduct was crafted to sideline Makone and her husband Ian as well as a powerful clique of party members who many believe wield too much power and decide who gets what post.
The Makones, who at one time virtually sponsored the MDC when the party was in a financial mess, assumed their positions after a bitter and protracted internal strife with a faction led by Matibenga.