MDC-T Secretary-General, Douglas Mwonzora, has alleged that the MDC Alliance is heavily influenced by elements of Zanu PF’s Generation 40 (G40) faction.
G40 was said to be a group of Zanu PF politicians working on generational change by replacing the party’s older officials with younger and savvy party members.
It is believed G40 was conceived by Professor Jonathan Moyo but he has repeatedly denied its identity as a faction.
At one point, G40 was said to be in favour of Grace Mugabe to be president, taking over from her husband, the late Robert Mugabe, which escalated fights between them and Lacoste faction led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, now the president.
Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre, Monday, Mwonzora claimed the MDC Alliance leadership was working with G40, which was one of the issues that caused a rift in the opposition.
The MDC Alliance have denied Mwonzora’s claims.
Mwonzora made these claims while explaining that his relationship with MDC Alliance leader, Nelsom Chamisa was civil and their differences non-personal.
He even described the MDC Alliance as a “puppet” of G40.
“G40 has even said to members of the MDC-T that they must not vote for Mwonzora. Jonathan Moyo has tweeted to that effect yet he is not a member of our party and so on. The G40 told MDC Alliance to suspend one of their officials here in Bulawayo and she was suspended. (referring to Tendai Masotsha, former MDC Alliance chairperson of the women’s assembly in Bulawayo who was alleged to have been involved in the abduction of a journalism student),” Mwonzora said.
“An investigation was done and she was found not guilty by some body but the G40 said that was not enough, ‘she should be fired’ and she was fired. Now when you have a party, which is a puppet of a segment of a political party then that is too bad.”
Mwonzora alleged G40 was a Zanu PF faction that is not in power and wants to control the opposition party.
“I say a big no to that. My relationship with other members of the MDC Alliance is civil. My relationship with Chamisa is civil. I haven’t talked to him. I don’t hate him, I don’t resent him. I have worked with him for a number of years, I know his strengths, I also know his weaknesses so it is never personal. I’m sure if we meet we can have a cup of coffee,” said the secretary general.
Reached for comment, Bulawayo Provincial MDC Alliance Spokesperson, Swithern Chirowodza hit back and said Mwonzora was a liar.
“Mwonzora has always survived politically by telling lies and mudslinging fellow party members. As it stands he stands accused by his comrades of stealing party funds. In the past, the Law Society has accused him of dishonesty. He is therefore compromised when it comes to issues of integrity. His very utterances require double-checking all the time. We suspect it is for that reason, among other things why President Tsvangirai appointed Nelson Chamisa to be vice president ahead of Mwonzora,” he said.
Chirowodza denied the MDC Alliance was a figment of Zanu PF’s G40 nor were the party’s decisions influenced by that grouping.
“Instead Mwonzora still needs to clear himself of accusations made publicly by Professor Moyo that he solicited help from Zanu PF to lead the MDC. It is also on record Mwonzora has supported Mnangagwa so much he told Zimbabweans that the Gukurahundi genocide was a civil war,” he said
“He in turn is so loved by Zanu PF’s Lacoste faction that while denouncing MDC-A President Chamisa, Zanu securocrat Victor Matemadanda has publicly shown his preference for Mwonzora.”
Mwonzora is one of the four candidates running for MDC-T presidency and he said looking at his experience in democratic struggle, he was qualified to lead the opposition.”
“I looked at my history in the democratic struggle and I looked at what type of president the opposition needs at this point in time, what type of leader the opposition needs in this point in time and most importantly what type of leader the MDC-T requires at this point in time. I thought that I met the grade,” he said.
“I started my politics as a student in 1988 as a student at the University of Zimbabwe I joined the Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) from there I was detained in Whawha prison in 1990 for writing the constitution of ZUM. I have participated in drafting the country’s constitution…”