HARARE – Government has denied allegations that it has devised a plan to infiltrate MDC structures ahead of its congress saying none of the opposition presidential candidates could be a match to President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is set to contest the 2023 elections on a Zanu PF ticket.
This comes as MDC’s senior leadership has openly accused the ruling party of working frantically to destabilise the opposition party, ahead of its May 24-26 congress where secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and vice president Elias Mudzuri are expected to contest the incumbent Nelson Chamisa.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Energy Mutodi has rubbished claims that the State is making arrangements to use security agents to weaken the opposition.
“Government is not worried who emerges the winner at the MDC congress be it Chamisa or Mwonzora. None of the two is capable of overcoming our 2023 Zanu PF candidate…Mnangagwa.
We have started reviving the economy and the gains are open for everyone to see,” Mutodi said. The MDC youth assembly has however, insisted that Zanu PF wants a “weaker candidate” to emerge as the party’s leader in May “for obvious reasons” — vowing that this would not happen.
“It is saddening that Zanu PF wants to give us a leader and we know why. We are, however, clear as youths and other organs of the party that we have Chamisa as our leader and the decision is ours not Zanu PF’s,” said Lovemore Chinoputsa, the MDC youth assembly secretary-general.
Mwonzora recently declared that he has rights including contesting the sitting leader since he is a “full member of the MDC.”
As a result, a lot of flak has been directed at him particularly following a mischievous tweet by Zanu PF deputy youth leader Lewis Matutu, who “predicted” the fall of Chamisa come May.
MDC vice chairperson Tendai Biti has angrily reacted to the suggestions that Mwonzora was likely to emerge as the new party leader after the May congress. He said the party would not accept to be led by “a ruling party chosen half-wit”. “We will reject any nincompoop given to us by Zanu PF. We already have a candidate in … Chamisa. So, we will not tolerate that.
“Our duty is to protect the legacy of our dear leader Morgan Tsvangirai and we know with Chamisa we will be able to do that,” Biti thundered. A senior member of the MDC national standing committee, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, also told the Daily News recently that Mwonzora was likely to be rejected by party supporters as perceptions grew that he was allegedly a Zanu PF “Trojan Horse”.
“This does not augur well for our SG (secretary-general) because he will now find it difficult to campaign in the structures as he is now being viewed as a Zanu PF project, which is very sad,” he said.