A list of nominations released yesterday showed that many heavyweights, save for Tsvangirai, risk returning from the congress as ordinary card-carrying members.
Final nominations will be announced on Tuesday after elections are concluded in Bulawayo.
The polls were abandoned for the second time after a fistfight broke out between rival factions.
At the congress, Tsvangirai’s deputy Thokozani Khupe will have to slug it out with veteran politician and MDC-T national executive member Norman Mabhena.
Kuwadzana MP Lucia Matibenga, who was controversially sidelined from the contest for the leadership of the Women’s Assembly in 2005, is challenging party chairman Lovemore Moyo.
Co-Home Affairs minister Theresa Makone is pitted against Matibenga, Eveline Masaiti and Editor Matamisa for the leadership of the Women’s Assembly.
Another interesting duel will be between Finance minister Tendai Biti and his Public Service counterpart Eliphas Mukonoweshuro for the powerful post of secretary-general.
Sources say nine provinces nominated Biti while Mukonoweshuro received two nominations.
Elias Mudzuri will have to outwit party spokesman Nelson Chamisa to retain his post of organising secretary.
Mudzuri and Chamisa’s fight has already turned dirty with the former Harare mayor accusing his rival of using the media to fight his wars.
Chamisa’s nomination for the powerful post opened the door for Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora and Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Tongai Matutu to contest for the post of secretary of information and publicity.
Former Nkayi South MP Abednico Bhebhe, Thamasanqa Mhlangu, Dennis Murira and Mudzuri have also been nominated for the post of deputy organising secretary.
Announcing the nominations, Chamisa said those nominated more than once would have to decide by Monday which position they wanted to contest as one person could not contest in two or more positions.
For the post of deputy chairperson, Morgen Komichi will be battling it out with Blessing Chebundo, Alexio Masundire and Matibenga, if she decided to go for this post.
Deputy Mines minister Gift Chimanikire has been nominated for the post of deputy secretary-general where he is set to wrestle it out with the incumbent Economic Development minister Tapiwa Mashakada, Bekithemba Mpofu and Paurina Gwanyanya.
Current national chairman Moyo has also been nominated for the post but sources said chances were nil that he would contest for the lower post.
Exiled treasurer general Roy Bennett is being challenged by Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma and Sekai Holland, the co-minister in the Organ of National Healing and Reconciliation.
The youth assembly chairperson post will see Solomon Madzore, Amos Chibaya and Promise Mkwananzi fighting it out. It’s understood that Chibaya was nominated by seven provinces, Madzore by three and Mkwananzi one.
Chamisa said the elections would be conducted through secret ballot.
“Elections will be by secret ballot,” he said. “We have retaining officers that are non- party leaders nor in our structures.
“They are from civic organisations so that we eliminate any bias.”
The jostling for posts has left the party badly divided. Last weekend Tsvangirai warned that vote-buying and violence was threatening the existence of the party.