In a stunning turn of events, outspoken liberation war heroine Margaret Dongo has publicly endorsed opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his party, Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), ahead of the upcoming crucial harmonized elections. In a short video that has taken social media by storm, Dongo, draped in a yellow dress representing the CCC’s color theme, raises her index finger—the party’s trademark symbol—and unequivocally endorses Chamisa for office.
The endorsement is particularly surprising as it goes against the grain, with Dongo breaking ranks and not supporting fellow war veteran President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Known by her Chimurenga name Tichaona Muhondo, Dongo gained prominence during the Mugabe era for her involvement in politics from 1990 to 2000. Initially elected as a parliamentarian on a Zanu PF ticket, she later contested as an independent candidate after being dropped by the party for not conforming to the party line.
Dongo’s journey to becoming an independent MP was filled with twists and turns. After initially losing the election, she successfully challenged the results in court, represented by Tendai Biti. In the election re-run, she emerged victorious, becoming the first independent MP in post-independence Zimbabwe.
Having dropped out of school at the age of 15 to undergo military training in Mozambique, Dongo joined the liberation struggle in 1975. She received military training at Chimoio Military Training Camp and served in the Tete Province, providing assistance to injured combatants. After Zimbabwe gained independence, she worked in the President’s Office as an intelligence field officer from 1983 to 1990.
War veterans, ex-detainees, restrictees, and collaborators have expressed their grievances about the neglect of their welfare by Mnangagwa’s regime, which has failed to adjust allowances to match the rampant hyperinflation.
As the video endorsement circulates widely, political observers and voters are left astonished by Dongo’s unexpected support for the opposition. With the elections just around the corner, the impact of her endorsement on the political landscape remains to be seen. Will it sway voters and create a seismic shift in the race? Only time will tell.
Watch the captivating video below and witness this unprecedented endorsement: