Harare - Zimbabwe's former finance minister Simba Makoni received a major boost Friday in his bid to topple President Robert Mugabe when he won the endorsement of a rebel faction of the main opposition MDC party.
Arthur Mutambara, leader of a splinter grouping of the Movement for Democratic Change, told reporters Makoni was the only man with a realistic chance of beating Mugabe at national elections on March 29.
"Our political party has decided, in pursuit of the national interest, to endorse the presidential bid in Zimbabwe by Dr Simba Makoni," Mutambara said at a press conference in the capital Harare.
"We will not as a party be fielding a candidate for the presidency of this country for the elections being held on March 29, rather what we are going to do is to support vigorously throughout the country the presidential bid of Dr Simba Makoni."
Mutambara added he would be himself be contesting a parliamentary seat in Zengeza West, 30 kilometres (18 miles) south west of the capital.