Nelson Chamisa

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The Right Honourable
Nelson Chamisa
Nelson Chamisa 2.jpg
President of the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai
Assumed office
15 February 2018
Preceded by Morgan Tsvangirai
(as party president)
Member of the Zimbabwean Parliament
for Kuwadzana Central
Assumed office
Minister of Information Communication Technology of Zimbabwe
In office
13 February 2009 – 31 July 2013
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Personal details
Born (1978-02-02) 2 February 1978 (age 40)
Gutu, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
Political party Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai
Residence Harare, Zimbabwe
Alma mater Harare Polytechnic
University of Zimbabwe
*No data available

Nelson Chamisa (born 2 February 1978[1]) is a Zimbabwean politician, current MDC-T President and member of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe for Kuwadzana, Harare. His charismatic speeches and eloquence saw him rise to become the Secretary for Information and Publicity for the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),[2] and former national youth chairperson for that party.[1]

Chamisa is a former chairperson of the MDC Youth Assembly. He was elected MDC spokesman at the party Congress in June 2006. In April 2011 at the Party's congress in Bulawayo, he was elected as the Party's Organising secretary, a post which previously belonged to Elias Mudzuri. In Parliament, he is a member of the portfolio committees of Defence and Home Affairs, Public Accounts, Gender and Youth and Transport and Communications. Chamisa is also a member of the Local Government, Public Works & Urban Development and the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliament. He is a former secretary-general of the Zimbabwe National Students Union.

In March 2007 he was attacked at Harare International Airport as he attempted to leave the country for Belgium; he was admitted to a hospital with a broken skull. On the current situation in Zimbabwe, he said, "There is no security. There is no protection. All of us are at risk."[2]

On 10 February 2009, Morgan Tsvangirai designated Chamisa for the position of Minister of Information, Communication, and Technology as part of the national unity government.[3] After taking office, he fell into a dispute with Webster Shamu, the Minister of Information and Publicity, regarding which ministry should deal with telecommunications. The Herald reported on 10 April 2009, that President Robert Mugabe had assigned responsibility for telecommunications to the Ministry of Transport, headed by Nicholas Goche.[4] Chamisa and Tsvangirai objected to this decision, saying that Mugabe had no power to unilaterally assign telecommunications to another ministry under the terms of the power-sharing agreement.[5]

Chamisa served as a cabinet minister from February 2009 to July 2013, until the end of the Government of national Unity. He also served as the Movement for Democratic Change's (MDC-T) organising secretary. Chamisa is known as one of the most popular MDC-T leaders and often touted as a possible successor to Morgan Tsvangirai. He lost the position of party Secretary General in the party's 2014 congress to Douglas Mwonzora. Chamisa has been accused of barring other youth and student leaders from having closer access to party president Tsvangirai, a move allegedly meant to protect his position. After the expulsion of Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, Chamisa's relationship with Morgan Tsvangirai deteriorated; he was apparently not well liked by Tsvangirai's loyalists. On 16 July 2016 Chamisa was appointed as co-Vice President of the MDC by Tsvangirai to serve alongside Mudzuri and Khupe.

When party leader Morgan Tsvangirai began battling colon cancer, power struggles began to ensue in the party, mainly between the three Vice Presidents Chamisa, Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe. On 14 February, it was announced that Tsvangirai had succumbed to colon cancer in hospital and the next day, the Party's national council appointed Chamisa acting President for a period of 12 months effectively elbowing Mudzuri and Khupe out. As the new President of the MDC-T he also took over the role of President of the MDC Alliance.


Chamisa holds a bachelor's degree in political science and public administration, and an LLB (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe. He is a qualified lawyer and has been working for Harare law firm Atherstone and Cook as from November 2014, the same firm that won the case for Zuva Petroleum, a judgement that ushered the dismissal of workers on 17 July 2015 using a backdated law.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Nelson Chamisa". Movement for Democratic Change Online. Movement for Democratic Change. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Zimbabwe stops activists leaving". BBC Online. 18 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  3. ^ "Zimbabwe: Full Tsvangirai MDC Cabinet List", SW Radio Africa (, 10 February 2009.
  4. ^ "Mugabe gives ally control of telecoms", Sapa-AFP (IOL), 10 April 2009.
  5. ^ Lance Guma, "Zimbabwe: Chamisa Says Mugabe Has No Power to Trim His Ministry", SW Radio Africa (, 14 April 2009.
  6. ^ Nyamande & Anor v Zuva Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd (1) S-43-15 (Summary)

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