Nelson Chamisa appointed to lead MDC

This appointment could well be challenged, given the turmoil in the MDC and there will be eyebrows raised at the speed with which it's been made.

Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Nelson Chamisa addresses the media in Harare on April 2, 2008. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Officials from Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party say they have appointed Nelson Chamisa to lead the party following Morgan Tsvangirai's death.

Tsvangirai died of cancer on Wednesday at the age of 65.

This appointment could well be challenged, given the turmoil in the MDC and there will be eyebrows raised at the speed with which it's been made.

Chamisa is a 40-year-old lawyer, one of three MDC vice presidents who were all keen to take over from Tsvangirai.

Morgan Komichi, the MDC's deputy chairman, says Chamisa's appointment as acting president for a 12-month period was confirmed by a majority of MDC national council members.

But MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora says a substantive MDC president will need to be elected at an extraordinary congress, to be held as early as next month.

What is clear is that emotions are running high and that the MDC is far from united after losing its leader.