THE MDC Alliance has endorsed MDC-T president Mr Douglas Mwonzora as leader of the opposition coalition, warning the faction led by Mr Nelson Chamisa against using the group’s name and symbols.
Principals of the alliance, a coalition of opposition parties that contested the 2018 general elections, met in Harare last week and committed themselves to the coalition agreement.
The alliance was consummated in 2017 when the MDC-T formed an electoral pact with six other political parties.
On Friday, MDC-T leader Mr Mwonzora chaired a meeting of coalition principals.
In a statement released after the meeting, MDC-Alliance secretary for information and publicity, Mr Nqobizitha Dumakile Khumalo, said: “Today the MDC Alliance Principals Forum met under the strict Covid 19 regulations at Morgan Tsvangirai House in Harare.
“The meeting was chaired by MDC-T president, Douglas Mwonzora.
“The various political leaders acknowledged president Mwonzora as the leader of the MDC Alliance, in line with the constituting document of the pact.
“The meeting re-asserted full commitment to the alliance agreement.”
In apparent reference to Mr Chamisa’s faction, he said the group was concerned with the continued abuse of the party’s name and symbols.
“The meeting, however, noted the continued abuse of the MDC Alliance name and symbols and urges those doing so to cease and desist forthwith.
“The meeting further agreed that it heartily welcomes and accepts any political players who subscribe to the MDC Alliance ethos.
“The meeting also deliberated and asserted its full commitment to inclusive, genuine and unconditional dialogue to end the problems currently afflicting Zimbabweans,” Mr Khumalo said.
Stephen Manzana, spokesperson and representative of the Zimbabwe People First, who attended the meeting said the party was yet to decide whether to join Mwonzora’s alliance or not.
He said the party could join Mwonzora’s camp if he was willing to share the funds allocated to the alliance under the Political Parties Finance act with the other principals.
“We were invited to the meeting by MDC-T president Mwonzora, but we are still at the negotiating table with both Mwonzora and Chamisa,” Manzanza said.
“We are not members of any alliance as yet. we will join the grouping, which offers the best to advance the interests of the general Zimbabweans.”
PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the party was not represented in Mwonzora’s meeting and disowned Lucia Matibenga, who was named as the representative of the party.
Matibenga, leader of a splinter PDP group, was part of the Joice Mujuru-led electoral pact in the 2018 general elections, not the alliance, which rival leader Tendai Biti was part of.
“Mwonzora is creating party leaders to advance selfish interests,” Mafume said.
“The so-called alliance is fictitious and bogus.
“The meeting was held out of desperation, dishonesty and craziness.
“He recalled members of Parliament from the MDC alliance because they were not members of the MDC-T, now they are claiming its ownership.”
The MDC alliance principals, who were not part of the meeting, said they never received any invitation from Mwonzora to join him.
They, however, said they could not have attended the Thursday meeting even if they had been invited because they did not recognise mwonzora as the leader of the alliance.
Welshman Ncube-led MDC vice-president Edwin Mushoriwa said the party had no intentions to join any other alliance other than the one led by Chamisa.
“Mwonzora did not even bother to invite us because he knew that we would not attend. we do not subscribe to his cheap political tricks,” Mushoriwa said.
“We know that the meeting was part of Mwonzora’s multiple sideshows to derail the agenda for change. but as the MDC-N, we continue rallying behind Chamisa to push for democracy and constitutionalism and respect the people’s will.”
MDC-T spokesperson witness Dube said all parties were represented at the meeting except for the Transform Zimbabwe led by Jacob Ngarivhume which had pulled out of the alliance.
He said principals of the alliance were bound by the agreement that set up the alliance.
- The Standard