With six nominations from 12 provinces, Midlands Senator, Lilian Timveos is a shoo-in to land one of the three vice president’s posts in the MDC Alliance, at the party`s elective congress later this month.
The opposition party will hold its maiden congress in Gweru from May 25 to 26.
The party`s National Council met on April 27, where a resolution was made to reserve one of the seats for a woman.
MDC Alliance has three vice president positions up for grabs but Timveos is in the lead to land the post ahead of other female aspirants, after notching the most nominations.
Other female contenders who are in the running are Tracy Mutinhiri, Lynette Karenyi-Kora, and Paurina Mpariwa.
However, Mpariwa has reportedly pulled out of the VP race and has opted to try her luck in the Women’s National Chairperson post while Mutinhiri and Karenyi-Kora both received a single nomination each.
The other party bigwigs fighting for the other two posts include Tendai Biti, Morgen Komichi, Professor Welshman Ncube and Elias Mudzuri.
From the 12 provinces, Komichi received 11 nominations, Biti – eight nominations, Prof Ncube seven nominations while Mudzuri had one nomination.
In an interview with CITE, Senator Timveos said her VP campaign has been received well so far.
“The MDC is a democratic party. Machinja don’t look at my being a female but rather at my qualifications and my ability to do the job,” she said.
The Midlands Senator said the party had a lot of strong opponents for VP but she considered herself to be one of those.
“I have chosen to focus on unpacking what I bring to the table to the people of Zimbabwe as well as to our President Chamisa. When you’re focused you’re less likely to face smear campaigns and the like. I have encountered some challenges but also managed to address them. My team will continue going to the people on the ground to share our vision for a democratic country. I’ve have been working with allies and advocates to help raise awareness of what’s at stake and what I bring to the table,” she said.
Timveos has in her political career spoken against human trafficking, corruption and political violence.
“I look forward to a new Zimbabwe, a democratic nation where the government will be accountable to the people. I look forward to a corruption-free country and government where parents will be able to feed their children and send them to school.
“I realise that it is important to have the public on board by making sure they are aware of the issues and that it takes all of us to tackle them. So we have been engaging with the people on the ground as well as social media in order to align towards a common vision. When they realise my vision is theirs then we are on the same page,” she said.
The senator said women in the party have an equal opportunity as their male counterparts to lead the party.
“Anyone can contest for the presidential position. We have a lot of qualified leaders, Honourable Tabitha Khumalo is one of them, and many others who will come in the future,” she said.
Thokozani Khupe, who was second in command to the late MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai, was pushed aside following the death of the former Prime Minister with Nelson Chamisa muscling his way in to lead the party.
“As a woman, I know well and truly just how it’s tough being in politics. I know I am qualified and I am the best person for the job. I consider myself to be a tough opponent. We have female leaders all over the world from where I draw inspiration.
“The likes of Angela Merkel, Teresa May, Julia Guillard among others, but more so closer to homes the likes of fierce female leaders such as Mbuya Nehanda and Queen Lozikheyi. Our children from a young age should be educated that they can be whatever they want despite their gender or race. After all, there are more women than men. They say, ‘Educate a woman, you educate a nation.’ When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous,” she said.
Who is Senator Lilian Timveos?
Born in 1973 at Kwekwe, Senator Timveos attended Vainona High School in Harare and later attained qualifications in Accounting and Administration.
She rose through the party ranks, from Zvishavane district to Provincial treasurer in Midlands province where she chaired for two congressional terms.
She was elevated to the party’s national executive where she became Shadow Minister for Home Affairs.
She is currently the party`s secretary for domestic affairs, a role she says uses effectively to articulate the MDC position on crucial issues and to keep the government in check.
She was appointed Senator for Midlands Province in August 2013 and is now the party`s Chief Whip in the Senate.
Timveos also serves as Chairperson for the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS in the Senate.
She is into business and is the director of the Rainbow Early Childhood Development Centre for 22 years.
Timveos has also been instrumental in saving some MDC members and supporters from the clutches of alleged Zanu PF militias in Mberengwa, often accommodating some of the victims in her own home.
Lillian is married to Michael Timveos and they have four children.