MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora has told the veterans of the 1970s liberation war to not stick their noses into MDC business as the party heads to Congress. Mwonzora said the Congress is an internal MDC affair which will be decided only by delegates who are bona fide MDC members.
“The war veterans and their party should have nothing to do with the MDC congress. It is an internal affair which will be decided only by the MDC members themselves,” said Mwonzora.
His statement follows hard on the heels of war veterans leader Douglas Mahiya who a few days ago expressed hope that the MDC will elect a “more mature leader at its Congress,” statements which were taken to mean they were favouring a Mwonzora victory over party leader Nelson Chamisa.
Mahiya said war veterans are tired of an opposition leader who opposes Zanu-PF for the sake of opposing.
Said Mahiya: “MDC supporters must choose a person who they feel is mature, with political aptness who will be able to take their political party forward. That person must be someone who knows the values of being in opposition, political consciousness of the party; not a leader who just opposes for the sake of opposing.
“A leader who cannot oppose the ruling party’s good policies for the sake of opposing, but positive criticism. We are tired of an opposition leader who even blames the ruling party for a cloudy day because it was supposed to be sunny.
“As war veterans, we went to war for everyone to enjoy the freedom to choose who they want to lead them and we will not give the opposition a name to choose. But this is their chance to choose a mature person who will benefit both their party and the country.”
There are fears that Mwonzora has become a Zanu PF project to destabilise the MDC.
At a Press conference in August last year, now deputy minister of Defence Victor Matemadenda encouraged him to take on Chamisa.
“Those who voted for Mwonzora for post of secretary general ahead of Chamisa should now stand up and throw Chamisa to the dust bin. MDC is now losing its values because of Chamisa. He is just like his mentor Mugabe – a dictator,” the war veteran said.
The MDC Congress will take place from 24 to 26 May 2019.