Mwonzora stirs hornet's nest

Nelson Chamisa’s MDC has reacted angrily to secretary- general Douglas Mwonzora who triggered a storm when he claimed that the party’s founding father Morgan Tsvangirai is turning in his grave because of the toxic politics obtaining in the opposition party.

Ahead of the MDC congress slated for May, Mwonzora has emerged as the biggest challenger to Chamisa’s presidency, ruffling feathers in an opposition movement that is not accustomed to having its leader challenged.

Insiders said a meeting of the party’s powerful standing committee this week is likely to be brutal for Mwonzora, who now stands accused of exporting internal party issues to the media instead of resolving them internally.

MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Mwonzora’s statement that “Tsvangirai is turning in his grave” was regrettable especially coming from someone who is part of the leadership.

“We don’t know what he is saying but what we know is that at the moment, the party controls all the urban areas, we increased the vote, we increased the number of parliamentarians, we improved and this was done in a very short space of time, we have improved from where Tsvangirai left,” Mafume told the Daily News yesterday.

“We have dominated the narrative as a party. It is also a wonder when some leader turns to cannibalism. The post that he holds is critical and he has been in that post longer than Chamisa has been president.”

Mafume said party issues are firmly in the hands of the secretary-general.

“In the corporate world, we do a 360-degree appraisal not 180 degrees. He should look at the bigger picture. We even have a daughter of Tsvangirai in Parliament whereas our rivals have obliterated the memory of their founding father. Surely, the Tsvangirai we know will be proud that the party has improved significantly from where he left.

“There are no shambles in the MDC, we have diplomats coming to meet president Chamisa. Can they come when the party is in chaos? We had former Nigerian President Olesugun Obasanjo meeting the president. Can he meet with a leader of a chaotic party. Maybe Mwonzora was looking at the wrong grave of Tsvangirai, he should go to Humanikwa (Tsvangirai rural home where he was buried).”

With so much at stake, gloves are now off in the MDC as Chamisa and his allies seek to neutralise Mwonzora’s base and influence. Notably, there were reports of internal fights during the party’s district elections.

However, the party’s organising secretary Amos Chibaya said everything is in order and said Mwonzora should specify areas where there are chaos.

In an interview with our sister paper the Daily News on Sunday, Mwonzora said he was ready to lead the MDC saying he has previously scored more wins than losses — a feat he said makes him more than suitable for any position within the party.

Asked if he has what it takes to be the party’s president, Mwonzora said: “I have been a leader in the MDC at various levels. Having started as the treasurer for Nyanga District, I was elevated to secretary for Local Government for Manicaland Province.

In 2008, I was elected to represent Members of Parliament in the national council of the party. In 2011, I was elected as the national spokesperson of the party at congress. In 2014, I was elected as the secretary-general of the party. I think I served well in my positions”.

He went on further to give a detailed account of how he joined politics as early as 1989, while he was still a law student.
Mwonzora was instrumental in the formation of the National Constitutional Assembly, which fought for a new democratic people-driven Constitution.

Chamisa has cautioned the party’s leaders against declaring ambitions saying leaders should come from the people and not self-choose. 

    Comments (16)

    Real democracy allows everyone's voice to be heard without fear of victimisation. Vitriolic comments on Mwonzora's views only display the same factional feuds in MDC as in Zanu PF leading to the expulsion of Mutasa, Mujuru and the incumbent President. Maybe MDC needs to walk the talk and reform its leadership and replace the same faces that have been recycled for the past 20 years. MDC-T, MDC-M, MDC, MDC-MZ, MDC-C, will the real MDC stand up!

    Daniel 5 - 1 April 2019

    Be careful to loose all that you have built because of miscalculation, people at the moment are very much with Chamisa and that euphoria is not easy to break.

    Kufandada - 1 April 2019


    rose - 1 April 2019

    Well done Mwonzora. Internal democracy in political parties leads to a stronger national democracy. More than anyone, Chamisa needs to learn some basic lessons on democracy. Even more important however, is that political party culture in Zimbabwe must change. Contests must be amicable. This is a as good a start as any.

    Ken Girtz - 1 April 2019

    Mdc should not take us the voters for granted. They just, for the first time in about 20 years, lost a council seat in Bulawayo because they couldnt come up with a process that would fairly chose a party candidate. They ended up fielding two candidates, as they did in 2018 general elections. Who is rigging who? More ominous though is the fact that both their candidates` combined votes could not beat the Zanu pf candidate. Now they are attacking Mwonzora for exercising his democratic right to contest for an office of his choice. This CCC idea is horrible. Look where Mugabe got us. Now busy creating another one. Let the congress be fair. Bullying of fellow comrades, worshipping of individuals as untouchables is a no no...

    runyararo - 1 April 2019

    Does Mwonzora support USA sanctions against Zimbabwe? We all know that Chamisa, Biti, Cup (Komichi), Hwende etc support USA sanctions against Zim and for that reason they are traitors.

    Ndiani Ndiani - 1 April 2019

    And exactly what's wrong with Mwonzora's comments? You run the risk of becoming another Zanu PF where the only qualification that will get you far are bootlicking and praisesinging. Where pluralism is seen as anti-party. Where a difference if opinion gets you labeled mutengesi. Rise above the village and Neanderthal politics of Zanu PF and assert the D in your name.

    Moe Syszlack - 2 April 2019

    Mwonzora's untimely comments are a case kicking himself in the teeth.Like everyone else he should accept the fact that Chamisa is the man of the moment.Love him or hate him but he is riding on the waves and he is the darling of the crowd.For Mwonzora to just wake up and decides to challenge Chamisa on the presidency would be for only two reasons.(1)Its either his palms have been generously greased by the zanu pf mafia party to cause mayhem in the MDC Alliance and with the resulting in people blaming Chamisa for for failing to hold the party together.The other reason could be that the Mwonzora guy is not as intelligent as some of us had assumed.He could be some very dumb bloke whose interlect is hugely exaggerated who does not even know that all the cheering noises that is telling him to go for it is coming from people who despise him,people who cant wait to see his demise politically and socially.So much for Dougie.

    janana wa Bikaz madhogodhogo - 2 April 2019

    Monzora you are mature to challenge that lad who is hero-warshipped by MuDhosvo forgetting that he raped a mentally-sick lady in Norton just next to Pakare Paya of Tuku

    Dhagi Monzi - 2 April 2019

    I strongly beleive this is the optune time time for Manicaland to have a PRESIDENTIAL candidate to lead Zimbabwe we have tried Masvingo we Have tried Midlands right now no direction we Tired Kwazvimba worse from Mwoonzora in the next 20 years we looking from again from Matebelaland so it is dog it dog go for it Wasu tiriyo kumbayo takamirira ku voter

    SAMANYIKA - 2 April 2019

    the naivety of lack of democracy has just exhibited by the spokesperson, so having the daughter of MT within the party warrants to his vision, that's a big shame Jacob. To all those who believe Nelson is the deal why do you attack Douglas , Nelson must not be the definition of MDC , anyone within the movement who feels they have capacity to lead let them do so without fear , otherwise this will the dumbest generation of all time if a leader is elected based on popularity against integrity.

    regges - 2 April 2019

    @reggee, its all people's opinions the way i see it having started with Mwonzora himself. if it is right for Dhaghi to give his opinion publicly then it should also be right for all of us to give our own opinion about his sentiments! so thois is why i will not judge your post or opinion...MDC congress is coming and what ever they do will be their right as a party. if Dhagi gives his opinion, everyone should also give thiers if they ewant inclkuding criticising him

    Tatanga - 2 April 2019

    mwonzora is entitled to seekany leadershipposition he sees befitting. However to criticise the party in which he is a senior leader in the name of seeking votes is dishonest, in fact Machiavelian. He is part of the collective and defense of the party should be his agenda number one.

    alternative - 2 April 2019

    While it is Mwonzora's democratic right to contest any position in the party BUT by commenting on internal matters on a public interview demonstrates serious lake of sound leadership qualities and yes citizenry are rightly so beginning to question his intellect and loyalty and his comments maybe a dire own-goal to his ambition.

    Sinyo Sinyo - 3 April 2019

    There is an invisible hand in MDC politics. We trust that more and more people stand on principle. As for me I say let us give the young man a chance. It is our collective responsibility to make MDC a better party, for a better nation, for a better future. The idea of making Chamisa the fall guy when we all know the rigging capacity of the regime is misdirected in every respect.

    New Dispensation - 5 April 2019

    MDC you need to do better or you run the risk of becoming a Zanu PF replica. Chimisa should practice what he preaches and allow the party to choose its leader. if people say chamisa is as strong as they claim he should not run away from being contesting. this president is a big hypocrite, he wants thing to go his way in the national elections but wont allow democracy in his own party, im ashamed that i voted for this coward, i wish ED was not president but i thank god that chamisa is not president as well.

    Zed - 7 April 2019

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