By-elections: Mwonzora’s party to contest as MDC Alliance

MDC-T leader, Douglas Mwonzora, has said his party will contest the March by-elections as the MDC-Alliance, a name used by the rival Nelson Chamisa-led faction of the MDC maintaining that is their name and that using any other would be absurd.

The country has a total of 133 elective vacancies, which comprise 28 parliamentary seats and 105 council seats emanating from recalls, deaths and dismissals.

Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed January 26 and March 26 as the dates for the sitting of nomination courts, to receive names of the candidates, and polling, respectively.

The announcement Wednesday by Mwonzora, who has also written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission claiming leadership of the MDC-Alliance, is likely to further worsen the confusion regarding the usage of the name which dates back to the death of MDC founding president, Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018.

Ironically most of the by-elections vacancies were a result of the MDC-T party recalling MPs and councillors accusing them of defecting to the rival MDC Alliance.

In a press conference in the capital, Mwonzora said he was not ashamed to use the name MDC Alliance in the impending by-elections.

“The use of the name, the MDC Alliance is nothing new,” said Mwonzora.

“Let no one say that they have been taken by surprise. When we had our anniversary after 11th of September in 2020, our chairperson, Morgen Komichi, stated clearly that the MDC Alliance was our name. The MDC Alliance that we are talking about is the MDC Alliance constituted in terms of composite political agreement and that alliance agreement had seven political parties in it.”

He explained further: “We are going into the by-elections. Remember we have MPs who are in Parliament using the MDC Alliance name and therefore we cannot use any other name. It will generate absurdity where MPs from one party are called by different names. So we are using the name MDC Alliance and we have a legitimate legal claim that name is ours.”

He said Tendai Biti was no longer the leader of PDP, having been “deposed in 2018 by his own party’s national council” adding Welshman Ncube also dissolved his party and joined the MDC-T.

Mwonzora who said he was in discussions with treaty partners such as Lucia Matibenga of the PDP disclosed that their candidates for the by-elections would be fielded by the parties which lost the seats, adding those vacancies previously held by ZANU-PF would be filled-in by the strongest party within the alliance.  

In an indirect reference to Chamisa’s party Mwonzora said no faction within a party will be allowed to field candidates, adding they were free to use any other name except ‘theirs.’

“There are a plethora of names in this country.

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