Friday, 26 March 2021

WHATS IN A NAME

THE Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T has threatened to contest the yet-to-be-announced by-elections as MDC Alliance, a move likely to confuse opposition voters and advantage the ruling Zanu PF party, while throwing Nelson Chamisa’s political life off the rails.

Mwonzora’s spokesperson Witness Dube confirmed the plot yesterday, adding that the name MDC Alliance was borne out of a 2017 electoral pact in which MDC-T was the principal party.

“The pact is known. MDC Alliance led by Chamisa is not a party. The vacancies which have arisen in Parliament are going to be filled using that electoral pact,” he said.

“The allocation of constituencies was done in accordance with the pact. So it’s true that MDC-T is going to contest all elections including the by-elections under the banner of MDC Alliance coalition created after an agreement entered with other parties.”

Asked whether the move would not put them on a collision course with Chamisa, Dube said their nemesis were renegades who did not have a constitution.

“We are bound by the constitution of the party and national laws, unlike them who are renegades who don’t have a constitution, they disregard national laws. So MDC-T is the party which formed the alliance and will contest as such,” he said.


The move, coming shortly after the MDC Alliance lost over 40 MPs and 80 councillors through recalls instigated by the MDC-T and Lucia Matibenga’s People’s Democratic Party, is, according to analysts, meant to further weaken Chamisa’s camp ahead of the 2023 elections.

The youthful opposition leader narrowly lost to  Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa in the 2018 presidential poll.

Chamisa, who claims the elections were rigged, laughed off Mwonzora’s plot, saying it would not derail his plans to unseat Mnangagwa in the next presidential race.

“I am surprised that people even listen to them. They are aimed at destroying the people’s movement. We are the MDC Alliance which was launched in Gweru and we have elected leaders. MDC Alliance is a political party independent of Zanu PF. We are not like Mwonzora and his camp that are at the core of Zanu PF politics,” MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo said.

“We are waiting for the by-elections to teach them a lesson at the ballot. We are going to teach them that people are not betrayed. They contested the election with (Thokozani) Khupe at the helm and lost dismally. They then came back through Zanu PF and recalled elected MPs. People are waiting for them at the ballot and we will punish them. We are the MDC Alliance.”

Political analyst Alexander Rusero said even if the Mwonzora camp took over the name MDC Alliance, that would not derail Chamisa’s campaign plans.

“If you look at Mwonzora’s shenanigans, it’s clear that it’s a project that is about to lapse. It’s not for the people and it’s there to please an invisible hand which has come out to be visible,” he said.

“They are a Zanu PF project, especially if you look at how the party has warmed up to them during the extraordinary congress, providing those resources.

“It’s not about elections, but confusion to reduce Chamisa and it will not win an election. It’s just that.”

The MDC-T last year grabbed the MDC Alliance party headquarters with the assistance of State security agents.

Mwonzora’s party was recently awarded the $7 million allocation meant for the MDC Alliance under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

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